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Its strangely-shaped, parrot-like head had a short, toothless beak and extremely powerful jaws, built for crushing action. Oviraptors had a small, stumpy, horn-like crest on its snout, probably used for a mating display; differences in these crests may represent different oviraptor species or the difference between the male, female, and juvenile of the species.
WHEN OVIRAPTOR LIVED
Oviraptor lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 88-70 million years ago. This was a time of high tectonic activity.
Oviraptor was a relatively large-brained dinosaur that cared for its eggs.
Oviraptor was probably an omnivore, which is unusual for dinosaurs. It probably ate meat, eggs, seeds, insects, plants, etc. with its beak and powerful jaws. Oviraptor (meaning "egg stealer") was thought to eat mostly eggs. In 1924, an Oviraptor fossil was found on top of some eggs (which contained no fossilized embryos), and people assumed that it had been eating the eggs. Recently, however, in Mongolia, paleontologists found some eggs containing fossilized embryos that were identified as embryonic Oviraptors. These eggs were very similar to those eggs found in 1924 that originally implicated the Oviraptor as a thief. If would seem that the Oviraptor fossil in 1924 was probably a parent of the eggs in the nest, and not an egg stealer but a nurturer.
Oviraptor walked on two long, slender, bird-like legs. It must have been a fast runner, considering its long legs and light weight. It could perhaps perhaps run about as quickly as an ostrich, which can run up to 43 mph (70 kph).
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Oviraptor was first found in the Gobi desert (in Mongolia) in1924 and was described and named by Henry F. Osborn. Fossilized Oviraptor skeletons and eggs have been found in southern Mongolia.
Oviraptor belonged to the:
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