The fossils of an animal that was taught to be about 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall and weighed up to 80kg (176lb) had been discovered in New Zealand.

The remains of the animal were that of a giant penguin that lived in the Paleocene Epoch between 66 and 56 million years ago.

Canterbury Museum added the “monster penguin” to the list of now-extinct gigantic New Zealand fauna, along with some parrots, burrowing bats and the moa, which is a 3.6m-tall bird.

“This is one of the largest penguin species ever found,” Paul Scofield, the museum’s senior curator, told the BBC. “Then, for 30 million years, it was the time of the giant penguins.”

During that time, penguins were taught to be that big because large marine reptiles disappeared from the seas and oceans, which is also the same time dinosaurs disappeared.

“We think that at the time, animals were evolving very rapidly,” Mr. Scofield added. “Water temperatures around New Zealand were ideal back then, around 25C (77F) compared to the 8C we have now.”

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