Primitive penguins?

Penguins were once thought to be the most primitive of birds. Members of Captain Scott’s famous expedition went on what they described as “the worst journey in the world” in the Antarctic winter to obtain an emperor penguin embryo to prove this point. But they were wrong — penguins are highly evolved to be able to live in the coldest of places.

Fossil records show that penguins evolved from flying birds (petrels) about 50 million years ago. There were at least 25 species, many of which have become extinct. Some fossil penguins were larger than the ones that exist today, with one species almost as tall as a man (170cm).

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