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Citipati

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citipati

Citipati (Wikimedia Commons)

Name:

Citipati (after an ancient Sanskrit god); pronounced SIH-tee-PAH-tee

Habitat:

Plains of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 9 feet long and 500 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Crest on front of head; toothless beak

 

About Citipati:

Closely related to another, more famous, central Asian theropod, Oviraptor, Citipati partook of the same child-rearing behavior: the fossilized specimens of this emu-sized dinosaur were found sitting atop clutches of eggs, in poses identical to those of modern nesting birds. Clearly, by the latter part of the Cretaceous period, the feathered Citipati (along with other dino-birds) was already well along toward the avian end of the evolutionary spectrum.

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