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Temporal range: Early- Late Miocene/Early Pliocene
Cast of the specimen AMNH3338 of Paraptenodytes antarcticus, of the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio in Trelew, Argentina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Subfamily: Paraptenodytinae
Genus: Paraptenodytes
Ameghino, 1891

Paraptenodytes antarcticus (type)
Paraptenodytes robustus
Paraptenodytes brodkorbi (disputed)


Metancylornis Ameghino, 1905
Isotremornis Ameghino, 1905
Treleudytes Ameghino, 1905

Paraptenodytes is an extinct genus of penguins which contains two or three species sized between a Magellanic Penguin and an Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri).[citation needed] They are known from fossil bones ranging from a partial skeleton and some additional material in the case of P. antarcticus, and a single humerus in the case of P. brodkorbi. The latter species is therefore often considered invalid; a recent study[1] considers it indeed valid, but distinct enough not to belong into Paraptenodytes. The fossils were found in the Santa Cruz and Chubut Provinces of Patagonia, Argentina, in Patagonian Molasse Formation rocks of Early Miocene age; later occurrences are apparently from Late Miocene or possibly even Early Pliocene deposits[2].

Together with the related genus Arthrodytes, they form the subfamily Paraptenodytinae, which is not an ancestor of modern penguins.[1]


  1. ^ a b Bertelli et al. (2006)
  2. ^ Stucchi et al. (2003)
  • Ameghino, Florentino (1891): Enumeración de las aves fósiles de la Repúiblica Argentina. Revista Argentina de Historia Natural 1: 441-445.
  • Bertelli, Sara; Giannini, Norberto P. & Ksepka, Daniel T. (2006): Redescription and Phylogenetic Position of the Early Miocene Penguin Paraptenodytes antarcticus from Patagonia. American Museum Novitates 3525: 1-36. DOI: 10.1206/0003-0082(2006)3525[1:RAPPOT]2.0.CO;2 PDF fulltext
  • Simpson, George Gaylord (1946): Fossil penguins. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 87: 7-99. PDF fulltext
  • Simpson, George Gaylord (1971): Conspectus of Patagonian fossil penguins. American Museum Novitates 2488: 1-37. PDF fulltext
  • Stucchi, Marcelo; Urbina, Mario & Giraldo, Alfredo (2003): Una nueva especie de Spheniscidae del Mioceno Tardío de la Formación Pisco, Perú. Bulletin Institut Français d'Études Andines 32(2): 361-375. PDF fulltext

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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