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Ichthyornis

An artist's rendering of an adult Ichthyornis.

Ichthyornis dispar (Greek for Fish Bird, named after its fish-like vertebrae) was a species bird that inhabited modern-day Canada and the United States during the mid Cretaceous epoch.

Ichthyornis lived mainly in the seashores of the Western Seaway. Stomach contents indicate its diet mainly was comprised of various fish, small animals, and carcasses. It was a toothed bird, having small sharp teeth lined in its jaws, and possessed a similar ecological role to modern day, gulls, petrels, and skimmers. Ichthyornis measured approximately nine inches in length with a skeletal wingspan of roughly 17 inches.

Description[]

Ichthyornis was the Cretaceous ecological equivalent of modern seabirds.

Timespan and evolution[]

The fossils of Ichthyornis have been found in almost all levels of the Niobrara Chalk.

History of study[]

Ichthyornis was discovered in the North Folk of the Solomon River in Kansas by Benjamin Franklin Mudge in 1870.

Classification[]

Ichthyornis is close to the ancestry of modern birds but represents an independent lineage.

In popular culture[]

Gallery[]

Ichthyornis/Gallery

References[]

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