Mononykus

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Learn more about Mononykus

Quick Facts
NameMononykus
Diet
Weight4 kilograms
Length1 meter
Height0.4 meters
Period
Mononykus
Human

Mononykus was a theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia at about the same time and place as Velociraptor some 70 million years ago. Mononykus Olecranus means "one claw," in reference to the enlarged thumb claw that reached seven and a half centimeters long. In 1993, Mononykus was also originally named Mononychus because the original name had already been used for a beetle named by Johann Schueppel, a German entomologist.

It was a small dinosaur, a light skeleton, an elongated tail and slender legs. A two-legged dinosaur lived in the open desert plains to use its high speed to escape predators. It was a carnivore that ate lizards and insects. It has large eye sockets, which meant it had very good night vision that could take advantage of the cooler air and lack of daytime predators. Its giant claw was disproportionately large and robust for that of a single finger. It came with fused bird-like wrist bones and a keeled sternum. The small limbs are used for digging insect nests or plucking plants for digestion.

Mononykus was 1 meter long and weighed 3.5 kg.

What does mononykus mean?

Mononykus Olecranus means "one claw", referring to the claw of the thumb enlarged up to seven and a half centimeters long. 

When does the mononicus live?

Mononykus was a theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia at approximately the same time and place as Velociraptor about 70 million years ago.

What does the mononiquito eat?

Mononykus was a carnivore that ate lizards and insects.

Why did the original "Mononychus" change?

Mononykus was also originally called Mononychus because the original name had already been used for a beetle named by Johann Schueppel, a German entomologist.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

  • Senter, 2005. Function in the stunted forelimbs of Mononykus olecranus (Theropoda), a dinosaurian anteater. Paleobiology. 31(3), 373-381.
  • Suzuki, S., Chiappe, L. M., Dyke, G.J., Watabe, M., Barsbold, R., and Tsogtbaatar, K. (2002). "A new specimen of Shuvuuia deserti Chiappe et al., 1998 from the Mongolian Late Cretaceous with a discussion of the relationships of alvarezsaurids to other theropod dinosaurs." Contributions in Science, 494: 1-18.
  • Senter, P. (2005). "Function in the stunted forelimbs of. Mononykus olecranus (Theropoda), a dinosaurian anteater". Paleobiology Vol. 31, No. 3 pp. 373-381.
  • Perle, Altangerel; Norell, Mark A.; Chiappe, Luis M.; Clark, James M. (1993). "Flightless bird from the Cretaceous of Mongolia". Nature 362 (6421): 623-626. doi:10.1038/362623a0. 
  • Perle, Chiappe, Barsbold, Clark and Norell, 1994. Skeletal morphology of Mononykus olecranus (Theropoda: Avialae) from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. American Museum Novitates. 3105, 1-29.
  • Chiappe, Norell and Clark, 1996. Phylogenetic position of Mononykus (Aves: Alvarezsauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of the Gobi Desert. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 39, 557-582.
  • Chiappe, Norell and Clark, 1998. The skull of a relative of the stem-group bird Mononykus. Nature. 392, 275-278.
  • Longrich & Currie, 2009. Albertonykus borealis, a new alvarezsaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Maastrichtian of Alberta, Canada: Implications for the systematics and ecology of the Alvarezsauridae. Cretaceous Research. 30(1):239-252
  • Norell, Chiappe and Clark, 1993. New limb on the avian family tree. Natural History. 9/93, 38-43.
  • Dinosaurs of the Gobi. Mongolia: BBC Horizon. 1993. 
  • Mortimer, M. (2004), "Ornithomimosauria", The Theropod Databaseaccessed June 30, 2009.
  • Schweitzer, M. H., J. A. Watt, R. Avci, L. Knapp, L. Chiappe, M. Norell & M. Marshall. (1999). "Beta-keratin specific immunological reactivity in feather-like structures of the Cretaceous alvarezsaurid, Shuvuuia deserti." Journal of Experimental Zoology, 285: 146-157.
  • Xu, Xing; Sullivan, Corwin; Pittman, Michael; Choiniere, Jonah N.; Hone, David W.E.; Upchurch, Paul; Tan, Qingwei; Xiao, Dong et al. (2011). "A monodactyl nonavian dinosaur and the complex evolution of the alvarezsauroid hand".. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (6): 2338-2342. doi:10.1073/pnas.1011052108.  It is suggested to use |number-authors= (help)
  • Rothschild, B., Tanke, D. H., and Ford, T. L., 2001, Theropod stress fractures and tendon avulsions as a clue to activity: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, p. 331-336.
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • Mononykus Olecranus means "a claw".
  • Mononykus was a carnivore that ate lizards and insects.
  • He has large eye sockets, which means he had very good night vision.
  • It was a small dinosaur with an elongated tail and slender legs.
  • He walked on two legs.

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