Avimimus portentosus

  • Pronounced:  AYV-ee-MIME-us

  • Diet:  Debated- Omnivore

  • Name Means:  "Bird mimic"

  • Length:  5 feet (1.5 m)

  • Height:  2 feet (.7 m)

  • Weight:  45 pounds (20 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Cretaceous - 95 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Mongolia

When first discovered, Avimimus was thought to look so much like a bird that its name literally means that it imitates a bird. Later discoveries have demonstrated to scientists that while it was very close to a bird, it was in fact not a bird. There is recent evidence, however, that suggests that it may have had feathers. Some scientists believe that the discovery of Chinese feathered dinosaurs suggests that Avimimus also had feathers.

First discovered by Russian paleontologists in the late 1970's, Avimimus is known from only three partial skeletons. Avimimus looked much like a large reptilian roadrunner in life, as it had long, slender back legs built for fast running. Its front legs were lightly built and equipped with sharp, curved claws. Avimimus had a long, lean neck topped by a short skull that was equipped with a toothless beak. It had a relatively large braincase.

The exact classification for this creature is not clear. It is often referred to as having an uncertain classification. Originally placed in its own higher taxon, Avimimidae, it has also been referred to Arctometatarsalia.

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