Skip to main content

Icadyptes salasi

Icadyptes salasi
Penguins are weird and interesting. Seabirds who swim better than they can fly.. or even walk? Well if the modern, waddling Penguins are so unique among birds, just take a look at some of their ancestors. Thankfully, the Penguins odd flightless bodies have been a huge help in studying them-- their bones are thicker and their fossils have survived quite well.

Icadyptes salasi is a Penguin ancestor that lived 36 millions years ago. Its fossils were uncovered in Peru, which is notable because Peru at that time was just as close to the Equator as it is now, and was even warmer in temperature. Today there are very few Penguins that live that far north, and they are much smaller in size.

Oh, have I not mentioned how large Icadyptes was yet? 5ft (1.5). That's one tall Penguin, taller than the largest modern Penguin-- the Emperor. Interestingly, it is only the third largest Penguin ever discovered. Icadyptes also had an incredibly long, spear-like beak that made up about 2.3 of their head length. These beaks were spears that could be used to catch prey.

The presence of this species in such a warm climate has causes researchers to revise the Penguin timeline. It was previously believed that the birds only spread north around 10 million years ago.

Status : Extinct for 36 million years
Location : South America
Size : Height up to 5ft (1.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Sphenisciformes
Family : Spheniscidae -- Genus : †Icadyptes -- Species : †I. salasi


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe