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Ornithomimus was an ostrich-like dinosaur with a toothless, horny beak, a small head, large eyes, a relatively large brain, a long neck, long tail, long legs, and hollow bones. It was about 15-20 feet long (4.5-6 m) and 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 m) tall. About half of its length was its neck and tail. It had short arms with three clawed fingers on each hand, and long legs with three clawed toes on each foot. A long tail acted as a counterbalance and as a stabilizer during fast turns. Its bones were hollow.
WHEN ORNITHOMIMUS LIVED
Ornithomimus lived in the late Cretaceous period, about 76-65 million years ago. Among the contemporaries of Ornithomimus in North America were Albertosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Euoplocephalus, Kritosaurus, and Nanotyrannus.
Ornithomimus was an omnivore, eating both plant and animal matter, including insects, small reptiles and mammals, eggs, fruit, and leaves.
Ornithomimus walked on two long, slender legs. It was a fast, agile dinosaur, probably running about as quickly as an ostrich , which can run up to 43 mph (70 kph).
Ornithomimus was a theropod and among the smartest of the dinosaurs.
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
The first Ornithomimus fossil was found near Denver, Colorado, USA in 1889, and was named by paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh in 1890. Ornithomimus fossils have been found in North America and Mongolia.
Ornithomimus belonged to the:
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)
For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.
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