Ornithomimus

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Learn more about the Ornithomimus

Quick Facts
NameOrnithomimus
Diet
Weight200 kilos
Length4 meters
Height2 meters
Period
Ornithomimus
Human

Ornithomimus was an ostrich-like feathered dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period of what is now North America. It was a fast bipedal theropod equipped with a small toothless beak that may indicate an omnivorous diet. 

Its name means "bird imitator," and refers to its presumed similarity to another dinosaur. It had a small head, large eyes, a relatively large brain, a long neck, a long tail, long legs and hollow bones. It had three toes that were unusual among dinosaurs, as they were all about the same length.

Othniel Charles Marsh named it in 1890 based on a partial foot and hand from the Maastrichtian Denver Formation. The legs and feet of Ornithomimus, along with its toothless beak and long neck, resembled today's living ostrich, except for its long tail. It had been a fast runner whose long tail acted as a counterweight and stabilizer in quick turns.

However, the brains of ornithomimids were large, but that does not mean that they had a sign of higher intelligence. Ornithomimus differed from other dinosaurs such as Struthiomimus; they had a short back, long slender forearms, straight hands, claws on the feet, metacarpals and fingers of similar length.

Ornithomimus lived in flocks whose chicks had fluffy feathers and a footprint on the first thing they saw. It fed on both terrestrial vegetation and aquatic particles. It was about 15-20 feet long and 6-8 feet tall, almost half of its length was its neck and tail.

What did Ornithomimus eat?

Ornithomimus was an omnivorous dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period of what is now North America. It was a fast runner with keen eyesight. They probably fed on small animals such as lizards, insects and small mammals. In addition, they ate eggs, nuts and plants.

What does Ornithomimus mean?

The name Ornithomimus means "bird mimic," which refers to its presumed similarity to another dinosaur. 

How big is an Ornithomimus?

Ornithomimus was about 15-20 feet long and 6-8 feet tall, almost half of its length was its neck and tail. 

When did Ornithomimus live?

Ornithomimus was an ostrich-feathered dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous period about 125 million years ago, 66 million years ago.

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?

  • Makovicky, P.J., Kobayashi, Y., and Currie, P.J. (2004). "Ornithomimosauria." In Weishampel, D.B., Dodson, P., & Osmólska, H. (eds.), The Dinosauria (second edition). University of California Press, Berkeley: 137-150.
  • Darla K. Zelenitsky, François Therrien, Gregory M. Erickson, Christopher L. DeBuhr, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, David A. Eberth, and Frank Hadfield. Feathered Non-Avian Dinosaurs from North America Provide Insight into Wing Origins. Science 26 October 2012: 338 (6106), 510-514. [DOI:10.1126/science.1225376]
  • Barrett, P. M. (2005). "The diet of ostrich dinosaurs (Theropoda: Ornithomimosauria)." Palaeontology, 48: 347-358.
  • Norell, M. A., Makovicky, P., and Currie, P. J. (2001). "The beaks of ostrich dinosaurs." Nature, 412: 873-874.
  • Xu, L.; Kobayashi, Y.; Lü, J.; Lee, Y. N.; Liu, Y.; Tanaka, K.; Zhang, X.; Jia, S.; Zhang, J. (2011). "A new ornithomimid dinosaur with North American affinities from the Late Cretaceous Qiupa Formation in Henan Province of China". Cretaceous Research 32 (2): 213. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2010.12.004. 
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • The name Ornithomimus means "bird mimic", and refers to its presumed similarity to another dinosaur. 
  • They lived from the Late Cretaceous period about 125 million years ago, 66 million years ago.
  • Ornithomimus resembled today's living ostrich, except for its long tail.
  • Ornithomimus was an omnivorous dinosaur that hunted small animals such as lizards, insects and small mammals, including eggs, nuts and plants.
  • He was a fast runner and could run as fast as an ostrich.

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