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Hesperornis

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Marine dinosaur or toothed diving-bird?

Although some scientists suggest that Hesperornis (HES-per-OR-nis) is the only marine (lived mainly in the ocean) dinosaur found in the fossil record today, it is agreed by the majority that it was a bird.

Hesperornis was the largest, flightless, diving-bird of the late Cretaceous (89 to 65 million years ago). They reached 6.5 feet (2 meters) in length. Its wings were small and probably used for steering when diving underwater. They had powerful hind legs developed for swimming, but their feet were not webbed like aquatic birds of today. Their long jaws contained many sharp teeth and it looked more similar to a dinosaur than a modern bird.

Did birds evolve from dinosaurs? Take a look at this display before you decide.

The Sierra College Natural History Museum would like to thank Stanley Davis of Vacaville, California for his generous donation of this specimen.Hesperornis

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