Ichthyornis

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Ichthyornis
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Ichthyornithes
Order: Ichthyornithiformes
Family: Ichthyornithidae
Genus: Ichthyornis
Species: I. dispar
Binomial name
Ichthyornis dispar
Marsh, 1872

Ichthyornis (meaning "fish bird") was a tern-like, extinct bird that lived alongside dinosaurs like T. rex and Triceratops. It lived in flocks, nested on shorelines, and hunted for fish in Cretaceous seas. Ichthyornis lived 135-70 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

Description[change | edit source]

Ichthyornis was about 8 inches (20 cm) long. It had a large head, toothed jaws, and a long beak. This powerful flyer is the oldest-known bird that had a keeled breastbone (sternum) similar to that of modern birds.

Ichthyornis was originally found in 1872 in Kansas by a member of paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh in Yale University expedition. Ichthyornis was named by Marsh in 1872. Fossils have been found in Kansas and Texas and in Alberta.