REDESCRIPTION OF CROSSVALLIA UNIENWILLIA - THE ONLY PALEOCENE ANTARCTIC PENGUIN

Piotr Jadwiszczak, Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche, Marcelo Reguero

Abstract


Redescribed and reinterpreted here is a partial skeleton of the oldest Antarctic penguin, Crossvallia unienwillia from the late Pa- leocene of Marambio (Seymour) Island. A thorough morphological analysis of limb bones (humerus, femur and tibiotarsus) allowed us to report both an amended reconstruction of type specimens and a revised taxonomic diagnosis of this large-sized early penguin. Moreover, an additional skeletal element, a single thoracic vertebra, is described for the first time. C. unienwillia is characterized by a mixture of features typical of both geologically older and younger penguins, supplemented by characters that are obviously unique. The above-mentioned fin- dings shed new light on the very beginning of penguin evolution.

Keywords


Early Paleogene; Marambio (Seymour) Island; Cross Valley Formation; Crossvallia unienwillia; limb bones; thoracic vertebra

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5710/AMGH.09.10.2013.1058