Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Meet life-size models of Waipara’s giant penguins

9 December 2019

Meet life-size models of Squawkzilla and Waipara’s giant penguins


Canterbury Museum curators Dr Paul Scofield and Dr Vanesa De Pietri with a life-sized model of Mannering's Penguin, a 1.2-metre penguin that lived around 62 million years ago.

The now world-famous giant parrot, Squawkzilla, and the monster penguins of Waipara are the stars of Canterbury Museum’s new exhibition Ancient New Zealand: Squawkzilla and the Giants, which opens Friday 13 December.

Exhibition visitors can see many of the fossils uncovered in the last two decades that palaeontologists are using to piece together Aotearoa New Zealand’s ancient past. Research by scientists from Canterbury Museum, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Flinders University (Adelaide), the University of New South Wales (Sydney) and the Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Frankfurt, Germany) has revealed some very strange beasts that lived millions of years ago in ancient New Zealand.

Near Waipara, North Canterbury, palaeontologists have found fossils from more than 60 million years ago which show that giant penguins swam in the warm oceans around the ancient subcontinent of Zealandia.

Twenty million years ago, Central Otago was submerged beneath a lake 10 times the size of today’s Lake Taupō. Fossils from ancient the lake bed include species of crocodile, turtles, a flamingo-like bird and a burrowing bat, together with Squawkzilla, at one-metre high, the world’s largest parrot.

Canterbury Museum staff, Dr Paul Scofield, Senior Curator Natural History, and Dr Vanesa De Pietri, Research Curator Natural History, have made major contributions to this work, along with Leigh Love, an amateur palaeontologist who lives in Waipara and fossil preparator Al Mannering of Christchurch.

Three recent discoveries – Squawkzilla the giant parrot (Heracles inexpecatus), a human-sized Waipara penguin (Crossvallia waiparensis) and a seabird with teeth (Protodontopterx ruthae) – made headlines around the world earlier this year.

Squawkzilla and the Giants presents the results of this research through life-sized models of the giant birds, real fossils and illustrations. The fossils of the ancient bird species are displayed alongside specimens of their modern relatives from the Museum’s collection.

Canterbury Museum Director Anthony Wright says Squawkzilla and the Giants is set to be a summer blockbuster for the Museum.

“We think visitors will be blown away when they see the life-size models of the penguins, the parrot and the crocodile. While the exhibition will be entertaining, it’s grounded in science and we hope people will come away having learnt a little more about the ancient past of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“For the Museum this is a very special exhibition, as it’s the culmination of 20 years’ research by Museum curators, collaborating with colleagues in other institutions. Their research continues to have a significant impact on global understanding of how birds – particularly seabirds – evolved across the planet.”

The Museum has created a set of collectable cards, featuring extinct animals from the exhibition, which will be released over the course of the exhibition. Visitors can collect a pack of these cards after completing an activity sheet with questions about the exhibition.

Ancient New Zealand: Squawkzilla and the Giants runs from 13 December until 19 July 2020 at Canterbury Museum.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>

ALSO:


Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: