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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Sphenisciformes
Familia: Spheniscidae
Genus: Pygoscelis
Species: P. adeliae - P. antarcticus - †P. grandis - P. papua


Pygoscelis Wagler, 1832

Vernacular names
English: Brush-Tailed Penguins


Isis, oder Encyclopädische Zeitung 25 col.281

The genus Pygoscelis ("elbow-legged") contains three living species of penguins collectively known as "The Brush-Tailed Penguins". Their appearance - black above, white below - is the stereotypical image of penguins, and so what most people think of when they think of penguins.


Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the genus split from other penguins around 38 million years ago, about 2 million years after the ancestors of the genus Aptenodytes. In turn, the Adelie Penguins split off from the other members of the genus around 19 million years ago.[1]

The three extant species are:

* Adélie Penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae
* Chinstrap Penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica
* Gentoo Penguin, Pygoscelis papua

Extinct species:

* Pygoscelis grandis (Bahía Inglesa Formation, Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Bahía Inglesa, Chile)
* Pygoscelis calderensis (Bahía Inglesa Formation, Late Miocene of Bahía Inglesa, Chile)
* Pygoscelis tyreei (Pliocene of New Zealand)

The latter two are tentatively assigned to this genus.


1. ^ Baker AJ, Pereira SL, Haddrath OP, Edge KA (2006). "Multiple gene evidence for expansion of extant penguins out of Antarctica due to global cooling". Proc Biol Sci. 273 (1582): 11–17. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3260. PMC 1560011. PMID 16519228. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1560011. Retrieved 2008-03-21.

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Source: Wikipedia. Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License