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Paleontologists Unearth Giant Fossilized Penguin

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the syfy-already-working-on-a-horror-movie dept.

Linux 124

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The BBC reports that scientists have discovered the 36-million-year-old fossil of a penguin nearly five feet tall and almost twice the weight of an Emperor Penguin, the largest living species. 'The heavier the penguin, the deeper it dives,' says Julia Clarke, a palaeontologist at the University of Texas. 'If that holds true for any penguins, then the dive depths achieved by these giant forms would've been very different.' The bird, named Inkayacu paracasensis, or water king, lived during the late Eocene period and had a long, straight beak, much longer than that of its modern relatives. But, most surprisingly, the giant penguin's feathers were brown and gray, distinct from the black 'tuxedo'" Reader SpuriousLogic notes that it's also getting easier to keep an eye on modern penguins, since Google has extended Street View to Antarctica.

cancel ×

124 comments

Linux?! (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769532)

Really :)

Re:Linux?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770042)

None of this can be definitely verified until Dr. Ross Geller weighs in. He's like Indiana Jones.

Re:Linux?! (4, Informative)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770150)

No, not Linux.

This is just a cover story. For beyond the giant penguins resides the Plateau of Leng, the long-forgotten city of the Elder Things.

Beware! BEWARE!!!

Re:Linux?! (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770664)

I'a I'a

Re:Linux?! (2, Funny)

zoward (188110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772262)

No, not Linux.

This is just a cover story. For beyond the giant penguins resides the Plateau of Leng, the long-forgotten city of the Elder Things.

Beware! BEWARE!!!

The best part about this is that someone modded you informative. I'm scared now...

Re:Linux?! (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772386)

TEKELI-LI!

Re:Linux?! (1)

I_M_Noman (653982) | more than 3 years ago | (#33773474)

TEKELI-LI!

Damn, beat me to it. All I can say is "but these penguins were brown, not white". But that probably only means that these penguins spoke it with an accent. "Tekeli-li, y'all!"

Climate Change (1, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769536)

Why aren't there giant penguins around today? It must be due to global warming...

Re:Climate Change (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769636)

Why aren't there giant penguins around today? It must be due to global warming...

While rossdee was clearly trolling with his comment, his subject line actually does hit the nail right on the head. The reason why giant penguins aren't around today is precisely because the climate has changed to one that isn't suitable for them.

Re:Climate Change (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769924)

The reason why giant penguins aren't around today is precisely because the climate has changed to one that isn't suitable for them.

Which should serve as a warning...

So short of being killed off by humans, the only reason a species becomes extinct is because of climate change?

Re:Climate Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770180)

So short of being killed off by humans, the only reason a species becomes extinct is because of climate change?

While it's true that climate change isn't the only reason a species can go extinct, it is generally believed that megafauna variants of species still living today were wiped out due to major changes in their environments. And a driving force for those changes is the climate. Note that nowhere in there did I ever imply that any of this needs to be man-made -- there are plenty of natural forces at work that can drastically alter the climate.

At the same time, simply because other things can have major impacts on the planet, it doesn't mean that we should outright discount any affect that we might have.

Re:Climate Change (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770328)

Clearly, this is proof that humans have invented Time Machines in the form of SUVs. Eventually, that's going to change the climate in the past.

Re:Climate Change (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771328)

Is it possible that the giant penguins were really good eating for ice-age Colonel Sanders?

Re:Climate Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769734)

They've clearly gone into hiding, running our governments from the shadows.

Re:Climate Change (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769816)

They ate all the neanderthals, ran out of food and went extinct.

Re:Climate Change (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770098)

Why aren't there giant penguins around today?

Brown feet that did not go with the tuxedo motif?

Re:Climate Change (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770118)

Why aren't there giant penguins around today? It must be due to global warming...

Nah, they've just been working on trimming the code a lot. If you thought the Linux kernel's bloated NOW, you don't know what they had before.

Re:Climate Change (1)

TheGothicGuardian (1138155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770786)

Why aren't there giant penguins around today?

Because the newer compact models could fit into smaller spaces?

Re:Climate Change (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771168)

Why aren't there giant penguins around today?

Because they created too much gas....

And this relates to Linux... how? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769538)

And this relates to Linux... how?

Re:And this relates to Linux... how? (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769704)

When they analyzed that penguin's DNA, they found that it contained a Linux kernel.

That is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770074)

a GNU/Linux kernel. Get it right, stupids!

Re:That is (2, Insightful)

hatten (1640681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770962)

The kernel is pure Linux, no GNU involved there. It's the operative system that uses GNU.

Re:That is (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772112)

Except that GNU tools, including gcc, were used to create the Linux kernel.

Re:And this relates to Linux... how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770254)

DNA is a hoax, like climate change. Our genes are composed of knotic aether. Kelvin is lord!

Re:And this relates to Linux... how? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771744)

DNA is Deoxyribonucleic acid. What does acid do? It melts things. If we were really made of acid then how come we don't melt?

Re:And this relates to Linux... how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33773274)

When they analyzed that penguin's DNA, they found that it contained a Linux kernel.

When they analysed the penguin's?..

Gosh, MS and Apple fans must be bitter (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769910)

Lets face it, Apple with a bite out of it might be a clever logo but it is hardly going to get "Awh's" from the girls is it. And the windows logo? Most people don't even know what it is. Those who know fear to mention it afraid of any linkage between broken windows, the fragility of glass and MS software.

But Linux, we got the tuxedoed one. And every single time penguins are in the news, we can link it to linux. And giant killer penguins are awesome things!

Oh yeah, I forgot the BSD people. A naked underaged devil. Least said...

Windows tattoo (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770394)

OK, a broken window may not be such a great logo, but do you know anyone who has a Linux tattoo [charlespetzold.com] ?

Re:Windows tattoo (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770558)

do you know anyone who has a Linux tattoo?

Yes. [ugo.com] Fear the penguin.

Re:Windows tattoo (1)

tautog (46259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770812)

Suddenly, I feel the urge to scrub my eyes.

Re:Windows tattoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771942)

OK, a broken window may not be such a great logo, but do you know anyone who has a Linux tattoo [charlespetzold.com] ?

A few [google.com]

Re:Gosh, MS and Apple fans must be bitter (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770900)

My wife baked me a Tux cake for my 30th birthday party, and whenever I see my three year old niece she wants to see my netbook with the Tux sticker on it.

Re:And this relates to Linux... how? (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770156)

From the summary:

But, most surprisingly, the giant penguin's feathers were brown and gray

Clearly that means Ubuntu's color-scheme of brown (older releases) and purple/gray (newer releases) are just devolutions of GNU/Linux into a distribution twice the size of any other. Duh!

Re:And this relates to Linux... how? (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771074)

It's Tux’s grandmarm.

First Post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769540)

as I can't think of a funny one right now.

Paging Mr. Lovecraft (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769546)

Were these giant penguins blind and albino?

Re:Paging Mr. Lovecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769596)

HEADLINE: Scientists have finally discovered ancestors of Linus Torvalds. ;)

Re:Paging Mr. Lovecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769892)

maybe even living in say, caves? even ruins perhaps...

but discovered in peru... hmm
there is a lot of ruins in those mountains right?

Giant TUX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769548)

Linus Torvalds must be happy - at least, it was not a giant penguin that bit him, giving him super mental powers. A giant penguin would have eaten him raw like Torvalds sushi!

clone it! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769552)

We need to clone it. We need 5ft killer penguins with long beaks and mean attitudes in our fight against proprietary software.

Re:clone it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770040)

We need to clone it. We need 5ft killer penguins with long beaks and mean attitudes in our fight against proprietary software.

To heck with that. Just imagine what one of these babies could do to copyright and patent laws!

Re:clone it! (2, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770158)

We need to clone it. We need 5ft killer penguins with long beaks and mean attitudes in our fight against proprietary software.

So, basically we need a beowulf cluster of killer penguins?

Re:clone it! (4, Insightful)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770194)

With fricken lasers attached to their heads!

Re:clone it! (1)

I_M_Noman (653982) | more than 3 years ago | (#33773490)

With fricken lasers attached to their heads!

And then the blood could go "psssshhhhhhhht" in slow motion...

Re:clone it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771150)

I think the open source world calls that forking.

Penguins = Tuxedo Gentlemen (1)

Gri3v3r (1736820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769560)

"Reader SpuriousLogic notes that it's also getting easier to keep an eye on modern penguins, since Google has extended Street View to Antarctica." A penguin waved at me! How polite.

Monty Python's giant penguin (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769578)

Didn't I see this on a Monty Python episode? Except, the penguin was more like 50 feet high . . .

Re:Monty Python's giant penguin (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769592)

You're thinking of this one: Linux-vs-Microsoft [linuxaria.com]

Re:Monty Python's giant penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770692)

Dinsdale! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Monty Python's giant penguin (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772066)

No, that one had electric tentacles and lived in the Sahara. They're still waiting to dig that one up.

Re:Monty Python's giant penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33773646)

Yeah its the one where they theorize that a penguin 50 ft. tall has the same brain size as a human; then attempt to ask them math questions.

and... (3, Funny)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769610)

In a related news, archeologists excavated a giant window in northern Canada. More at eleven...

Oh, No, There Goes McMurdo... (1)

mim (535591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769616)

...Go, Go, PengZilla!

How soon... (3, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769630)

...before we start seeing pictures of Jesus riding one of these?

Re:How soon... (1)

Devrdander (1105175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769922)

you mean Raptor Jesus?

Not Tux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769632)

This is tagged as 'linux' and in the Linux category just because it talks about penguins? Really?

Re:Not Tux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770192)

Penguins are Linux.

Audio interview on Quirks and Quarks (2, Informative)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769646)

Re:Audio interview on Quirks and Quarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770010)

Realistically, how many of us speak Old Penguin?

Street view? (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769648)

Reader SpuriousLogic notes that it's also getting easier to keep an eye on modern penguins, since Google has extended Street View to Antarctica.

Not so much "street view", more like a "tourist with a camera taking photos of penguins along with some other tourists view".

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769660)

Imagine cleaning up after a Beowulf cluster of those...

Re:Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770106)

I'm having trouble with that image.

What is coming though is Beowulf roasting a cluster of these on a spit...

Tagged Fossil (1)

macbuzz01 (1074795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769674)

When I saw the tux icon and the fossil tag and immediately thought free /open source software-il. What's wrong with me?

In other news... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769678)

Big penguins in the past doesn't seem to be totally unheard of. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palaeeudyptinae

The find (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769690)

The fossil was uncovered when a large remnant of what appears to be a pre-historic version of a chair was removed from the top of its head.

The chair was carved out of stone.

I scoff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769696)

36 million years. Ha!

Brown and Gray Feathers (4, Funny)

Goody (23843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769710)

But, most surprisingly, the giant penguin's feathers were brown and gray, distinct from the black 'tuxedo

Why is that surprising? It was 36 million years ago. There were big furry elephants and lizards the size of houses in prehistoric times.

Re:Brown and Gray Feathers (5, Funny)

ControlsGeek (156589) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769756)

Penguins were not as formal way back then and adopted much more casual dress of Brown double breasted suit with baggy cuffed trouser, a Huge 'Fedora' and wide tie.

Re:Brown and Gray Feathers (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772500)

A Fedora but no Red Hat? How come?

Re:Brown and Gray Feathers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769884)

There were big furry elephants and lizards the size of houses in prehistoric times.

Yes, but houses were much smaller then.

Finally (4, Funny)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769746)

Finally, I have reason to point out that despite this being slashdot, I didn't choose this name because I like linux (although I do, the name came from before I started using it or signed up for slashdot), I chose it because I like penguins!

I have a degree in geology but never took any paleontology courses... I knew I should have, then I'd be able to comment on this important scientific discovery... er... make that, this important... linux development? I'm confused.

Looks like (5, Funny)

ZirconCode (1477363) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769840)

Looks like we horribly miss-calculated the year of the penguin!

Linux? (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769844)

OK, so how is the discovery of a new penguin species in any way relevant to Linux? What was the submitter (or the editor) smoking?

Re:Linux? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769900)

It's all related, man. Penguins... Tux... Linux... Linus.... The government doesn't want you to know The Truth. There's some bizarre shit going down with the penguins of the world. I think - based on years of academic research - that the REAL Atlantis was actually the Penguin Homeland. I think Linus knows, too. I think he was sent into the future - OUR TIME, MAN - to teach the world the firm-but-loving discipline of Penguinism. The Singularity will only be possible because of Linux. THINK ABOUT IT. Penguin-powered Singularity. News stories like this are just preparing the world to accept the fact that our planet was once dominated by Penguin Overlords. Haven't you ever seen the MEN IN BLACK? Don't they look like penguins?! They're coming back, man. MEN IN BLACK = TUXEDOS = TUX. They are the Penguin Overlords' invasion force. Ever see that episode of Star Trek Voyager "Distant Origin?" It's like that! But instead of dinosaurs, it's penguins. They're coming back, man. There's a distant planet filled with penguins and they are just waiting to come back and

Re:Linux? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33773414)

They're coming back, man. There's a distant planet filled with penguins and they are just waiting to come back and

and what? Are you okay? Please respond. Should I wait for the penguin on the telly?

Re:Linux? (1)

nikomo (1338131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770092)

I believe he was smoking rotten apples and broken windows.

Re:Linux? (3, Insightful)

ddxexex (1664191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770138)

It's the easiest way to put a picture of a penguin in the summary. Why put a special picture of a penguin in when linux automagically gives you a penguin picture?

Looks like Linux (1)

Buzzo (678060) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770030)

was better 36 million years ago as well as today.

Name fail (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770230)

"Holy shitballs Ricky, they discovered a PANSQUANCH!!"

Its a sign... (1)

bongey (974911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770240)

Its a sign for this year will be the year of linux on the desktop.

At the Mountains of Madness Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770300)

Seriously people. This is the internet. Get with it.

Big Penguin the missing link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770312)

This Penguin find proves beyond any doubt that we have "global shrinking"
as well as "global warming". The implications are mind reducing!

Even though humans seem to have escaped a major shift from gigantic
to pint size; evolutionary shrinking with global warming offers a clear
hypothesis: Human obesity is the result of people beginning to fry;
no matter how many super sized meals they eat. Sad to say humans
are not getting bigger or better just expanding with the heat.
       

Great800 Grandpa???? (1)

rMatey123 (1502173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770402)

Oh, noes!!! That's Tux's great grandpa removed 800 times, at least.

Not purple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770662)

They also discovered that the penguins color is not purple. Send an email to Ubuntu.

Oblig.. (2, Funny)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770756)

I for one welcome our new Giant Penguin Overlords...

Re:Oblig.. (2, Funny)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771106)

Actually pretty old Giant Penguin Overlords...

This is why I'm PRO climate change (1)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770896)

Enthusiastically. Let me tell you why.

I'm always interested to see a new discovery like this in the Eocene.

The Eocene is such a cool epoch (and by cool I mean hot, followed by less hot) that I get excited whenever there's something newly discovered. In part because through modern technology, it really isn't so remote.

Through the miracle of anthropomorphic global warming the kind of world in which creatures like this thrived is within reach of our descendants, possibly within living memory.

Tropics replacing deserts. Habitable northern latitudes and even poles. Longer growing seasons. Greater biodiversity, and greater biological productivity on the whole.

The ability of our species to bring about a radical change in climate should be incredibly compelling to us. It presents an amazing opportunity to transform our world for the better. How many of us read and dreamt about terraforming other worlds as youth? Our generation has the capacity to terraform our own.

We are really at a turning point as a species. Either we can continue to wallow in the current ice age or we can take the reigns of destiny and propel ourselves and our world to a better future.

Re:This is why I'm PRO climate change (2, Informative)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772862)

You mean 'anthropogenic' warming. You shouldn't call the warming 'anthropomorphic', it hates that.

Re:This is why I'm PRO climate change (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33773704)

Whenever people bleat about climate change and talk about the wonders of carbon sequestration I think about the hadrosaurs (duck-billed, herbivorous dinosaurs).

They lived in huge migratory herds. Their nesting grounds have been found; thousands of huge nests in which they laid their eggs. The hatchings grew at an enormous rate, becoming ready to accompany the adults on very long migratory walks within months of hatching.

The growth rate of these things really struck me; where does all that dinosaur muscle and bone come from? These are herbivores. These hatchlings must have been eating a lot of food.

The plants that provided them with that growth rate must, themselves, have had an enormous growth rate; the foliage at these nesting grounds must have been astounding.

I don't believe that there is any ecosystem in the world that we know today that could support these animals.

The world as we know it today is virtually a desert even though the surface of the Earth is 75% water. Theres plenty of water in the world today; the problem is the lack of carbon.

Plants and animals are made of carbon. The bulk of plant material (that isn't water) is made from carbon that is drawn out of the air. Animals turn that atmospheric carbon into muscle, bone and fat.

Vast tracts of forest and vegetation were buried in huge volcanic eruptions. Thats the trend on planet Earth; slowly over eons carbon is buried and taken out of circulation, thereby PREVENTING the growth of plants and animals.

Volcanic action will, very very slowly, leech that carbon back into the atmosphere but its so slow that eventually life on earth will become more and more carbon-impoverished.

What the planet Earth needs, in order to sustain life, is some agency to remove carbon from sequestration and to release that carbon into the atmosphere as methane and co2. Thats where we come in.

We should be PROUD to be nurturing the planet by releasing carbon back into circulation so that it can go to make plants and animals and keep this planet thriving.

Prior Art (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771044)

I think this penguin was first discovered by geologist William Dyer from the Miskatonic University. Shoggoths, fishmen and madness cannot be far behind.

John Belushi's worst nightmare! (1)

Zardoz Speaks (1845738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771362)

And it would CRUSH a telly! (Obligatory Monty Python reference)

mountain madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771546)

It was eaten by a Shoggoth!

Apples are even older (1)

dapyx (665882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772290)

Actually, it seems that apples are a bit older: "The genera of Maloid Rosaceae radiated an estimated 48-50 million years ago (Campbell et al. 2007)" (Source) [toronto.edu]

Re:Apples are even older (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772562)

But around 2000 they got a huge gene transfer from the devil and other creatures.

Really? (1)

neuro-commando (1888256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772628)

I really love the fact that this is posted as Linux news.

I thought .. (1)

floydman (179924) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772746)

batman killed it in 1992 [wikipedia.org]

Jurrasic Pengins... (1)

Saberwind (50430) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772800)

coming soon to a theater near you.

brown and gray (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33773598)

But, most surprisingly, the giant penguin's feathers were brown and gray, distinct from the black 'tuxedo'

Surprise, surprise! A fossil is rock-colored! Maybe the original bird that got replaced by the fossil material was black and white?

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