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Last Updated: Friday October 01 2010 16:09 GMT

Ancient giant penguin fossil unearthed in Peru

An artist's impression of the giant penguin

The remains of a giant penguin that lived 36 million years ago has been unearthed in Peru.

Scientists are excited because they say the fossil's given them the evidence they need to answer questions about the birds' feathers and colouring.

The team told Science magazine that it showed penguin feathers used to be brown and grey, and only changed to black and white quite recently.

The penguin fossil's official name is Inkayacu paracasensis, or Water King.

Experts reckon the ancient penguin was about 1.5m (5ft) tall and nearly twice as heavy as an Emperor Penguin, the largest living species.

They also say it had a long, straight beak which was much longer than its modern relatives.