ヘスペローニス Hesperornis オーストラリア恐竜大陸
世界共通発音: ヘスパローニス hess-per-orn-iss
命名意味: Western Bird
Aviale(Aves) / Ondotoholcae (Cretaceous toothed birds)
/ First Described: 1872 / Found: North America: USA
/ Height: 2m / Weight: 25kg
/ Food: Fish / Young: Eggs
/ Lived: Late Cretaceous 82-76 mya
As well as the remains of lchthyornis, the Smoky Hill chalk of Kansas in the United States contained the remains of another toothed bird. Hesperornis was, however, a flightless giant with tiny wings, a large body and strange legs. It is odd that these birds should adopt such a lifestyle, but it seems to have hopped around on land and dived into the sea in search of food.
Hesperornis was, in effect, a giant version of today's 'grebe' and is known only from the northern hemisphere of the Cretaceous world. It had a long beak with many teeth which were arranged in a similar way to those of lchthyornis. The 'Western Bird' had a very short thigh bone, and the longer lower limbs and paddle-like feet extended sideways away from the body. On land, this heavily built bird would have walked with an ungainly waddle but in the sea it became a powerful and graceful swimmer.
Hesperornis fed on the abundance of small fish that flourished in the warm Cretaceous seas.