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[hes-puh-rawr-nis] /ˌhɛs pəˈrɔr nɪs/
a toothed aquatic bird of the extinct genus Hesperornis, fossils of which are found in rocks of Cretaceous age in Kansas, having the rear legs modified for swimming and reaching a length of more than 4 feet (1.2 meters).
Origin of hesperornis
< New Latin (1872) < Greek Hésper(os) Hesperus + órnis bird Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hesperornis
Historical Examples
  • This order includes only an extinct N. American bird hesperornis.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The less numerous hesperornis group were large and powerful divers.

    The Story of Evolution Joseph McCabe
  • They've named him the "hesperornis," which means "western bird."

  • They are of two leading types, of which the Ichthyornis and hesperornis are the standard specimens.

    The Story of Evolution Joseph McCabe
  • It was over twenty feet across his wings, from tip to tip; and, like the hesperornis, he always had fish for dinner.

  • Another (hesperornis regalis) stood five or six feet high, and had rudimentary wings like those of the Penguins.

    The Chain of Life in Geological Time Sir J. William Dawson
  • They crept on all fours, they climbed with fingers and toes, they dived headlong, and swam as skilfully as any hesperornis of old.

    Jungle Peace William Beebe
  • The wing of hesperornis, for example, is now declared to be an instance of degeneration from one capable of flight.

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