by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | April 07, 2016 03:20pm ET
Scientists have found what may be the world's luckiest Hesperornis — an ancient water bird that escaped the snapping jaws of a plesiosaur about 70 million years ago in prehistoric South Dakota.
Still, the plesiosaur got a good bite out of the Hesperornis, a large, flightless diving bird that lived during the late Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs roamed the world.
"Basically, the plesiosaur came in from the side," said study co-author Bruce Rothschild, a professor of medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University. "That probably was what allowed the bird to escape, because when [the plesiosaur] got the initial grip, and released to get a better grip, the bird got away."