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The DNA has resurrected an unknown extinct penguin, which researchers have named the Waitaha Penguin.
The team, led by University of Otago PhD student Sanne Boessenkool, identified the large-bodied Waitaha Penguin using ancient DNA from prehistoric bones, combined with traditional morphological techniques
"Our findings demonstrate that yellow-eyed penguins on mainland New Zealand are not a declining remnant of a previous abundant population, but came from the sub-Antarctic relatively recently and replaced the extinct Waitaha Penguin," said team member Dr Jeremy Austin, deputy director of the Australasian Centre for Ancient DNA.
The new species, the Waitaha Penguin, identified from prehistoric bones was closely related to the yellow-eyed penguin.