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Rare Penguin Skull Fossil with Shark Tooth in Matrix - South America

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Rare Penguin Skull Fossil with Shark Tooth in Matrix - South America

Availability: Out of stock

Extinct Primitive Penguin
Paleospheniscus sp.

South America

Miocene to Pliocene Period
2 - 5 million years old

Skull: 3 in long x 2.4 in wide
Matrix is 5 x 3.8 inches

Weight is 0.8 kg / 1.75 lbs

The skull is inside a phosphate nodule and could be further prepared to expose the fine intricate details. There is even a shark tooth resting beside the skull!

This finely preserved skull is from an ancient penguin, probably an ancestor of today's Humboldt penguin, but around the size of a small Gentoo penguin, which would be around 25 inches tall. They thrived 2-5 million years ago in the warm waters near the Equator in today's South America, with diet and behavior much like their modern relatives.


Paleospheniscus was a very successful marine bird as evidenced by its abundance in the fossil record. These active, diving, marine birds lived in a warm climate near the equator. Paleospheniscus is very similar to modern penguins, and much like the penguin of today they had dense appendicular, (limb) bones to aid them in diving and swimming under the waters surface in search of food. Evidence suggests it was ancestral to the modern Humboldt penguin, which inhabits the offshore islands of Peru and Chile.