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|Go to a Gallimimus Fact Sheet||
September 7, 2001
Peter J. Makovicky, a vertebrate paleontologist with the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, USA, discovered the 70-million-year-old Gallimimus bullatus fossil in the Gobi Desert.
Ornithomimids: Gallimimus was an ornithomimid (bird-mimic) dinosaur, a group of dinosaurs that were ostrich-like but had a long tail. They had short arms with three clawed fingers on each hand, long legs with three clawed toes on each leg, and hollow bones. A long tail acted as a counterbalance and as a stabilizer during fast turns. Many ornithomimids swallowed stones that served as gastroliths (stomach stones), grinding up tough food like plants and hard-shelled animals. Early ornithomimid dinosaurs (ornithomimosaurs like Pelecanimimus) had hundreds of teeth, later versions (like Anserimimus) had only a few teeth, and the most advanced ornithomimids (like Gallimimus) had a toothless beak.
Gallimimus was a fast-running dinosaur with a very long, thin, flattened, toothless, horny beak, a small head, and a relatively large brain. The bottom front part of its beak was shaped like a shovel. It had large eyes positioned on opposite sites of its head, ruling out binocular vision (depth perception). It had a long neck, long tail, and long legs. Gallimimus was about 13-20 ft (4-6 m) long, was 6.3 ft (1.9 m) tall at the hips, and may have weighed about 970 pounds (440 kg).
Reference: Nature, Aug. 30, 2001.
A page on the dinosaur Gallimimus.
A brief fact sheet on Gallimimus.
A page on the Cretaceous period, when Gallimimus lived.
Other fossils found in Asia.
Chart of geological time.
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