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Hesperornis were flightless aquatic birds from the LateCretaceous. They were very large birds reaching up to two metres (6.5 feet) in length, and they had virtually no wings and hunted in the waters of the North American Inland Sea.

Characteristics Edit

Hesperornis was a large bird reaching up to two metres or 6.5 feet in length. It had virtually no wings and swam with its powerful hind legs. The toes were probably lobed rather than webbed as in today's grebes like in these the toes could rotate well, which is necessary to decrease drag in lobed feet but not in webbed ones like in loons where the toes are simply folded together


Like many other Mesozoic birds such as Ichthyornis, Hesperornis had teeth in its beak which were used to hold prey, most likely fish. In the hesperornithiform lineage they were of a different arrangement than in any other known bird or in non-avian theropod dinosaurs, with the teeth sitting in a longitudinal groove rather than in individual sockets in a notable case of convergent evolution with Mosasaurs.

Hesperornis was shown to nest in onshore rookeries, like modern penguins. They were aggressive towards other animals when panicked, or when these animals entered their rookeries; but Hesperornis were also easily distracted from these other animals by splashes, and were (according to Helen Cutter) highly unintelligent, and much slower on land than in the water due to their body weight.

Incursions and encounters Edit

A Hesperornis came through an Anomaly into the Dexter house's flooded basement in the present. There, when a plumberinvestigated the cellar, the Hesperornis attacked him. It is unknown what happened to the Hesperornis after, but it had apparently disappeared from the cellar by the time the Home Office andSpecial Forces had arrived at the Dexter residence.

When Nick Cutter swam through the Anomaly into a bay in theCretaceous, a flock of Hesperornis were swimming around him. On the shoreline, Cutter encountered a rookery of numerous Hesperornis. Two investigated him and Helen Cutter, but Helen distracted them by throwing a stone into the nearby water.

Real life Edit

Hesperornis lived from 83.5 to 78 million years ago approx in the Late Cretaceous. It was a large bird at approximately 6 feet in length, with a toothed beak for holding prey, almost no wings, and powerful hind legs for swimming.

  • The coloration of the Hesperonis in Primeval was similar to that of the Hesperornis in Sea Monsters - A Walking with Dinosaurs Special.
  • In Series 1, Hesperornis appeared in the "recaps of the previous episodes" in every episode but the first.

Errors Edit

  • The Primeval merchandising mispelled Hesperornis as Hesperonis, missing out the second "r".
  • In Primeval, Hesperornis was shown to be capable of standing upright; in reality its legs were too articulated for swimming to allow an erect stance on land.
  • The Hesperornis in Primeval had scales, while the real life Hesperornis would have had feathers.
  • It could be seen that in Primeval, Hesperornis' upper beak was full of teeth; but in reality Hesperornis had only back teeth.

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