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Garudimimus

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garudimimus

Garudimimus (Wikimedia Commons)

Name:

Garudimimus (Greek for "Garuda mimic"); pronounced gah-ROO-dih-MIME-us

Habitat:

Plains of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (90-85 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 13 feet long and 500 pounds

Diet:

Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Relatively short legs; four-toed feet

 

About Garudimimus:

Just as a running coach can judge an Olympic hopeful by the size and shape of her legs, so a paleontologist can infer the relative speed of an ornithomimid ("bird mimic") dinosaur by analyzing these same features. Judging by its short legs, Garudimimus must have been a relatively undistinguished sprinter, especially compared to the speedier ornithomimids (like Struthiomimus and Dromiceiomimus) that imhabited North America during the late Cretaceous period.

For a long time, Garudimimus was believed to be the only ornithomimid to have a decorated skull--namely, a short crest in between its eyes. New research, though, shows that this "crest" didn't actually exist; the paleontologists who originally reconstructed the skeleton put a small bone in the wrong place!

 

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