List Of Extinct Penguins, From Tremendous to Tiny

Penguins are some of the most fascinating and adorable types of birds on the planet, but despite being of interest to pretty much everyone who sees them, they aren't as well protected as they should be. Recently, an entire population of Emperor Penguin chicks was wiped out, and there are numerous species on the brink of extinction. A look back through the fossil record reveals dozens of extinct species and genus of penguin, which are no longer around, and if we're not careful, that number could go up.

Theses are the species and genus of prehistoric penguin breeds that no longer exist. While most went extinct millions of years ago, several were hunted to extinction by early human settlers. New species are identified all the time, but these are the ones that are currently known and described by science, listed alphabetically.


  • Anthropodyptes Gilli

    History: The single species, Anthropodyptes Gilli is the only known member of the genus Anthropodyptes. Its discovery is based on a single humerus found in Australia indicating it may belong to the subfamily Palaeeudyptinae, but very little is actually known about them. They lived between 23.03 to 15.97 million years ago.

    Physical Size & Description: Unknown

    Location: Australia

    Modern Relatives: None

    • Scientific Name: Anthropodyptes gilli
    • Rank: Species
    • Type Of: Penguin
  • Anthropornis

    History: Anthropornis was a genus of giant penguin that lived during the Late Eocene to the earliest part of the Oligocene some 45 to 33 million years ago.

    Physical Size & Description: They had a bent joint in the wing, which was likely a carryover from their flying ancestors. They stood some 1.8 meters in height (5' 11") and weighed in at around 90 kg (200 lbs.).

    Location: Seymour Island, Antarctica, and New Zealand.

    Modern Relatives: None.

    • Scientific Name: Anthropornis
    • Rank: Genus
    • Type Of: Penguin
    • Types: A. nordenskjoeldi, A. grandis
  • Archaeospheniscus

    History: Archaeospheniscus was a genus of large penguins, which contains three known species. They lived between 50 and 27 million years ago through the Eocene to the Late Oligocene. The genus represents one of the earliest known types of primitive penguins.

    Physical Size & Description: All three species have shown a slender humerus, which is less like a modern penguin and more like a modern bird capable of flight, though it isn't believed that Archaeospheniscus was capable of flight. The three species ranged between 75 cm to 125 cm (29" to 49") in height.

    Location: Antarctica and New Zealand

    Modern Relatives: None.

    • Scientific Name: Archaeospheniscus
    • Rank: Genus
    • Type Of: Penguin
    • Types: A. lowei, A. lopdelli, A. wimani
  • Arthrodytes

    History: Arthrodytes was a genus of extinct penguin, which contained a single known species. They lived during the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene.

    Physical Size & Description: Unknown

    Location: Patagonia

    Modern Relatives: None.

    • Scientific Name: Arthrodytes
    • Rank: Genus
    • Type Of: Penguin
    • Types: A. andrewsi