Palaeospheniscus wimani

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Palaeospheniscus wimani
Temporal range: Early Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Subfamily: Palaeospheniscinae
Genus: Palaeospheniscus
Species: P. wimani
Binomial name
Palaeospheniscus wimani
(Ameghino, 1905)
  • Perispheniscus wimani
    Ameghino, 1905
  • Palaeospheniscus robustus
    (partim) Simpson, 1946

The extinct penguin Palaeospheniscus wimani is a member of the genus Palaeospheniscus which belonged to the prehistoric subfamily Palaeospheniscinae. It was the largest member of its genus, being just as large as the Magellanic penguin of today (to which it is quite unrelated).

A fairly large number of fossil bones has been found, some of which are tentatively assigned to this species. They are from the Early Miocene of the Patagonian Molasse Formation. The specimens from known localities were collected near Trelew and Gaiman in Chubut Province, Argentina.

As there is not much notable difference apart from size, this species is sometimes considered a synonym of Palaeospheniscus patagonicus.

Carl Wiman is honored by the binomen wimani. He was one of the foremost researcher of prehistoric penguins in the early 20th century.


  • Amegino, Florentino (1905): Enumeracion de los impennes fósiles de Patagonia y de la Isla Seymour. An. Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires 3(6): 97-167, 4 figures, 8 plates.
  • Simpson, George Gaylord (1946): Fossil penguins. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 87: 7-99. PDF fulltext
  • Simpson, George Gaylord (1971): Conspectus of Patagonian fossil penguins. American Museum Novitates 2488: 1-37. PDF fulltext