THE ORNITHOMIMOSAURIAN DINOSAURS
Avimimus was a small dinosaur, only up to 5ft (1.5m)
lonf and lightly built. Its legs show a lots of birdlike features.
In fact, the Russian scientist who described Avimimus in 1981
thought it was closly related with birds. Avimimus had long
slender legs, large eyes, and a large brain.
Elaphrosaurus is the oldest known ornithomimosaur: all
the others like ornithomimus and struthimimus, lived in tha late
Cretaceous period, 70 million years later. Elaphrosaurus was 10ft.
(3m) long, and not as ostrichlike as its later relatives. Its
arms were short. Both the feet and hands only had three fingers
or toes. Elaphrosaurus is best known from the famous Tendaguru
dinosaur beds in Tanzania. These have also yielded the dinosaurs
barosaurus, brachiosaurus and kentrosaurus.
Gallimimus was probably the largest ornithomimosaur.
It was about 13ft. (4m) lnog. Slightly bigger than its close
relatives ornithomimus and struthiomimus. Gallimimus had hands
that could not grasp things, and so probably couldnot have torn
up meat. It has been suggested that it scraped at the soil and
may have been fed on eggs. Gallimimus had a long snout with a
broad, flat end.
Western Canada and USA
Ornithomimus was a medium-sized dinosaur, that looked
like an ostrich.The tail was more than half of its lenght of 13ft.
(4m). Many skeletons and odd bones of Ornithomimus have been
found, and ten spicies have been described. Ornithomimus had no
teeth, but probably had a horny beak. It may have gathered food
such as leaves, fruit, roots, insects, lizards, and small mammals
using its long strong fingers. It could chop and swallow food in
chunks, just as birds do.
Saurischia: ? Ornithomimosauria
Oviraptor was an unusual and small coelurosaur. The
first skeleton was found in 1923 just above a nest of
protoceratops eggs, and for this reason it was thought, that
ovirraptor was an egg-eater. It had a short head and a powerful,
toothlees beak. The jaws were curved so that it could crush very
hard objects. Oviraptor had strong threefingered hands with large
claws which may have been useful in grasping. Oviraptor may have
eaten eggs, bu the powerful beak suggests that it may have
Alberta, Canada and New Jersey, USA
Struthiomimus was shaped just like an ostrich, but
without feathers. It was 12ft. (3.5m) long and had a very slender
body. Its head was small and it had no teeth only a horny
beak. It had a long neck and a long tail which was used for
balance. Struthiomimus was fast on its long hind legs and
could have used three-fingered hand to dig up food and to grasp