RMA hosts lecture about the life of penguins

Daniel Ksepka

Daniel Ksepka

Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich, Inc. (RMA) hosts Daniel Ksepka, who will give a talk on March of the Penguins: New Discoveries from the Southern Hemisphere on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette Place, Greenwich.

Penguins have undergone one of the most remarkable transitions in vertebrate evolution. Over sixty million years ago, these birds arose from flying ancestors. Although penguins have lost the capacity for aerial flight, they are accomplished “underwater fliers,” using their specialized flipper-like forelimbs in wing-propelled diving. The fossil record reveals the history of how these remarkable birds came to be. Many of these fossils reveal unexpected surprises: these include “giant” species (more than a foot taller than living Emperor Penguins), spear-billed species with long pointed beaks, “svelte,” long-flippered species and even penguins with red and grey feathers. The fossil record also reveals that today, penguins have reached what appears to be their lowest historical point in species diversity, reinforcing conservation concerns for imperiled populations.

Dr. Ksepka earned his PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University in 2007 and spent five years in residence at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is an expert at designing scientifically accurate and visually striking content for special exhibitions.

He is also a speaker and writer. He has been a featured speaker at the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Field Museum. In addition to more than 30 formal peer-reviewed research papers, he has written articles for popular science magazines including Scientific American, American Scientist, and Dig. His personal blog, “March of the Fossil Penguins,” attracts more than 50,000 visitors per year.

Next week, Nov. 22 Kevin Peraino, A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949.

The Greenwich Retired Men’s Association offers a free program every Wednesday that is open to the public, both men and women; no reservations are required. Social break starts at 10:40 a.m. followed promptly by speaker at 11. Programs are at the First Presbyterian Church, 1 West Putnam in Greenwich.  For additional information see www.greenwichrma.org or contact [email protected]

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