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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous 77–66 mya
Cast of an S. altus skeleton
at the Royal Ontario Museum
Scientific classification

Osborn, 1917
Struthiomimus, Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Skull of Struthiomimus altus

Struthiomimus was a long-legged, ostrich-like dinosaur of the ornithomimid family. It lived in what is now Alberta, Canada, during the Upper Cretaceous, about 75 to 65 million years ago.

Description[change | change source]

Struthiomimus is known from several skeletons and skulls.[1]

It differed from Ornithomimus only in proportions and details. It had a typical build and skeletal structure for an ornithomimid.[2] Its size was about 4.3 metres (14 ft) long and 1.4 metres (4.6 ft) tall at the hips, with a weight of about 150 kilograms (330 lb).[2]

As with other ornithomimids, it had a small slender head on a long neck. The neck was about 40% of the length of the body in front of the hips.[1] Its eyes were large and its jaws were toothless. Its vertebral column had ten neck vertebrae, thirteen back vertebrae, six hip vertebrae, and about thirty-five tail vertebrae.[3] The tail was stiff and was probably used for balance.[4] It ground food up in its gizzard, and may have been herbivorous or omnivorous.[5] The animals were quite common, which suggests they were herbivores or omnivores, rather than pure carnivores.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Currie, Philip J. (2005). "Theropods, including birds". In Currie, Phillip J.; Koppelhus, Eva (eds.). Dinosaur Provincial Park: a spectacular ancient ecosystem revealed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 367–397. ISBN 0-253-34595-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Paul, Gregory S. (1988). "Genus Ornithomimus". Predatory dinosaurs of the world. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 384–394. ISBN 0-671-61946-2.
  3. The dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. 2004. ISBN 978-0-520-94143-4. OCLC 801843269.
  4. Osborn, Henry Fairfield (1917). "Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 35: 733–771. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  5. Barrett, Paul M 2005. The diet of ostrich dinosaurs (Theropoda: Ornithomimosauria). Palaeontology. 48 (2): 347–358.
  6. Paul, Gregory S. 1988. Genus Ornithomimus in Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 384–394. ISBN 978-0-671-61946-6