Avimimus

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Avimimus
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous
Life restoration of Avimimus portentosus.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Oviraptorosauria
Family: Avimimidae
Kurzanov, 1981
Genus: Avimimus
Kurzanov, 1981
Species
  • A. portentosus Kurzanov 1981 (type)
  • A. sp. vide Ryan, Currie & Russell 2001

Avimimus (meaning "bird mimic") was a recently-discovered maniraptoran.[1] It was a very fast moving, light-weight, bird-like theropod dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous in what is now Mongolia, around 70 million years ago. that may have had feathers.

Flight?[change | edit source]

The forelimbs were relatively short. The bones of the hand were fused together, as in modern birds, and a ridge on the ulna (lower arm bone) was interpreted as an attachment point for feathers by Kurzanov.[1][2] Kurzanov, in 1987, also reported the presence of quill knobs,[1][3] and while Chiappe confirmed the presence of bumps on the ulna, their function remained unclear.[4] Kurzanov was so convinced they were attachment points for feathers that he concluded that Avimimus may have been capable of weak flight.[1] The presence of feathers is now widely accepted, but most paleontologists do not believe Avimimus could fly.[1]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 'Avimimus'. In: Dodson, Peter et al. The Age of Dinosaurs. Publications International. p130. ISBN 0-7853-0443-6.
  2. Kurzanov S.M. 1981. "An unusual theropod from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia Iskopayemyye pozvonochnyye Mongolii (Fossil Vertebrates of Mongolia)." Trudy Sovmestnay Sovetsko-Mongolskay Paleontologiyeskay Ekspeditsiy (Joint Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition), 15: 39-49. Nauka Moscow, 1981
  3. Kurzanov S.M. 1987. "Avimimidae and the problem of the origin of birds." Transactions of the Joint Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition, 31: 5-92. [in Russian]
  4. Chiappe L.M. and Witmer L.M. 2002. Mesozoic birds: above the heads of dinosaurs. Berkeley: University of California Press, 536 pp. ISBN 0520200942