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Anserimimus

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anserimimus

Anserimimus (Getty Images)

Name:

Anserimimus (Greek for "goose mimic"); pronounced AN-ser-ih-MIME-us

Habitat:

Plains of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 14 feet long and 250-500 pounds

Diet:

Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long legs; powerful arms

About Anserimimus:

The rare ornithomimid ("bird mimic") Anserimimus is known only from a single, incomplete skeleton found in the Gobi Desert--including a hindlimb and a forelimb but (as is often the case with dinosaurs) no head. Like other ornithomimids of the late Cretaceous period, Anserimimus probably had no teeth and subsisted on small insects, reptiles and mammals, though its atypically powerful arms may be a hint that it occasionally pursued larger prey.

By the way, unlike Struthiomimus ("ostrich mimic") and Gallimimus ("chicken mimic"), Anserimimus probably didn't look much like a goose, after which it's named. That's because the paleontologist who first described it wanted to follow the ornithomimid tradition of naming new genera after existing birds.

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