Anserimimus(/ˌænsərɪˈmaɪməs/ AN-sər-i-MY-məs; "goose mimic") is a genus of ornithomimid theropod dinosaur, from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now Mongolia. It was a lanky, fast-running animal, possibly an omnivore. From what fossils are known, it probably closely resembled other ornithomimids, except for its more powerful forelimbs.

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 70 Ma
Mounted skeleton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Clade: Ornithomimosauria
Family: Ornithomimidae
Genus: Anserimimus
Barsbold, 1988
A. planinychus
Binomial name
Anserimimus planinychus
Barsbold, 1988


Anserimimus was found in the Mongolian aimag, or province, of Bayankhongor during a joint Soviet-Mongolian expedition to the Gobi Desert, in the late 1970s. Mongolian paleontologist Rinchen Barsbold named Anserimimus in 1988, combining the Latin anser meaning 'goose' with the Greek mimos meaning 'mimic'. Anser is the generic name of several species of geese. Although Anserimimus does not specifically resemble a goose, ornithomimosaurs have traditionally been named after different types of birds, such as Struthiomimus ('ostrich mimic'), Gallimimus ('rooster mimic'), and Pelecanimimus ('pelican mimic'). The one named species of Anserimimus is called Anserimimus planinychus. The specific name is derived from the Latin planus meaning 'flat', and the Ancient Greek ὄνυξ, onyx, meaning 'claw', in reference to the peculiar flattened claws which characterize the genus.[1]

Ornithomimid hand
Hand of ZPAL MgD−I/65

There is only a single specimen of Anserimimus, its holotype IGM 100/300. It consists of a rather complete and articulated skeleton lacking the skull and lower jaws. Limited information has been published on the anatomy of Anserimimus, as Barsbold did not describe most of these bones, instead focusing on only those with features that set Anserimimus apart from other ornithomimids. In an unpublished thesis Robert Bronowicz in 2005 gave a detailed description of the species, also referring additional material to it, among which a second partial skeleton, specimen ZPAL MgD-I/65.[2] However, in 2010 Bronowicz concluded this other find, though most closely related to Anserimimus planinychus, probably represented a separate taxon.[3]


Different view of skeleton

Anserimimus was a medium-sized ornithomimosaurian. Gregory S. Paul in 2010 estimated its length at three metres, its weight at fifty kilogrammes.[4] The thighbone is 435 millimetres long.

There are several key differences between it and related species, though most of these are shared with ZPAL MgD-I/65. The claws on the hand are long, low at the back and rather straight, only slightly curved, with the lower surface nearly flat. The forelimb is long and also built more powerfully than that of other ornithomimids, with large crests on the scapulocoracoid of the shoulder and humerus (upper arm bone), which provided attachment points for large arm muscles like the biceps. The metacarpus of the hand is fused, adding to the strength. The foot is strongly arctometatarsalian, with the third metatarsal excluded from the front surface of the metatarsus over 40% of its upper length.


Anserimimus was by Barsbold assigned to the Ornithomimidae, a group of derived Ornithomimosauria. This has been confirmed by modern cladistic analysis. Its closest relative may be Gallimimus from the same formation albeit from a different area (Kobayashi & Lu, 2003;[5] Kobayashi & Barsbold, 2005[6]). Other studies have been unable specifically to determine its relationships or those of any other ornithomimids (Ji et al., 2003;[7] Makovicky et al., 2004[8]).

The following cadogram is based on Xu et al., 2011:[9]














The function of the powerful arm, with its straightened claws, remains unknown. It may indicate a different diet of food-gathering strategy than other ornithomimids, although its diet is difficult to determine, since the animal's skull is unknown. Scientists have long hypothesized that ornithomimids, descended from carnivorous theropod ancestors, were actually omnivores or even herbivores.[10]


Anserimimus was recovered from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. The Nemegt is thought to represent alluvial plains containing meandering rivers. The layer Anserimimus was found, is dating from the early Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous, or about 70 million years ago.

Aside from Gallimimus, other theropods found in the Nemegt Formation include the gigantic Tarbosaurus and Deinocheirus, as well as smaller dromaeosaurids, oviraptorosaurs, troodontids, and birds. Herbivores are represented by the hadrosaurids Barsboldia and Saurolophus, the ankylosaurid Tarchia and several titanosaurian sauropods and pachycephalosaurians. The rock facies of this formation suggest the presence of stream and river channels, mudflats, and shallow lakes. Sediments also indicate that there existed a rich habitat, offering diverse food in abundant amounts that could sustain massive Cretaceous dinosaurs.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Rinchen Barsbold, 1988, "A new Late Cretaceous ornithomimid from the Mongolian People's Republic", Paleontological Journal 22: 124-127
  2. ^ Bronowicz, R., 2005, Upper Cretaceous dinosaur Anserimimus planinychus (Theropoda: Ornithomimidae) from Mongolia. MS Thesis, University of Warsaw
  3. ^ Bronowicz, R. (2011). "New Material of a Derived Ornithomimosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 56 (3): 477. doi:10.4202/app.2009.1123.
  4. ^ Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 113
  5. ^ Kobayashi, Y. & Lu J. 2003. A new ornithomimid dinosaur with gregarious habits from the Late Cretaceous of China. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 48(2): 235–259.
  6. ^ Kobayashi, Y. & Barsbold, R. 2005. Reexamination of a primitive ornithomimosaur, Garudimimus brevipes Barsbold, 1981 (Dinosauria: Theropoda), from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 42: 1501-1521.
  7. ^ Ji Q., Norell, M.A., Makovicky, P.J., Gao K., Ji S, & Yuan C. An early ostrich dinosaur and implications for ornithomimosaur phylogeny. American Museum Novitates 3420: 1-19.
  8. ^ Norell, M.A., Makovicky, P.J., & Currie, P.J. 2001. The beaks of ostrich dinosaurs. Nature 412: 873-874.
  9. ^ Xu, L.; Kobayashi, Y.; Lü, J.; Lee, Y. N.; Liu, Y.; Tanaka, K.; Zhang, X.; Jia, S.; Zhang, J. (2011). "A new ornithomimid dinosaur with North American affinities from the Late Cretaceous Qiupa Formation in Henan Province of China". Cretaceous Research. 32 (2): 213. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2010.12.004.
  10. ^ Osborn, H.F. 1917. Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus, and Tyrannosaurus. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 35: 733–771.
  11. ^ Novacek, M. (1996). Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc. New York, New York. ISBN 978-0-385-47775-8

External links

1988 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1988.


Adasaurus ( AH-də-SAWR-əs; "Ada's lizard") is a dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of Central Asia. It was a small bipedal carnivore with a sickle-shaped claw on the second toe of each hind foot, and was perhaps 1.8 m (5.9 ft) long. The genus name Adasaurus is taken from Ada, an evil spirit in the mythology of Mongolia, and the Greek word sauros meaning 'lizard'. The species name, for the single species, (A. mongoliensis), refers to the country of origin. Adasaurus was named and described in 1983 by Mongolian paleontologist Rinchen Barsbold.

Adasaurus is a member of Dromaeosauridae, a group that is closely related to living birds. Other dromaeosaurids include Deinonychus, Velociraptor, Microraptor, and Buitreraptor. The relationships of Adasaurus are poorly understood. Traditionally, Adasaurus is assigned to the Dromaeosaurinae, which includes heavily built animals such as Dromaeosaurus and Utahraptor but several recent studies have suggested that it may be a member of the Velociraptorinae instead.Two specimens of Adasaurus have been found, both from the Nemegt Formation in the Gobi Desert of southern Mongolia. The holotype, IGM 100/20, is an incomplete skeleton with partial skull, including the vertebral column except the back of the tail, all three bones of the pelvis, the shoulder girdle and the hindlimbs. The second specimen, the paratype IGM 100/51 also described in the original paper, consists of the back end of another skeleton, including the hindlimbs. Both specimens are currently in the collection of the Mongolian Geological Institute in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The age of the Nemegt is not known for certain, but it is commonly thought to belong to the Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period., and Adasaurus would therefore have lived between 72 and 66 million years ago. Other dinosaurs found in this formation include the tyrannosaur Tarbosaurus, the ornithomimid Anserimimus, the troodontid Zanabazar, and the hadrosaur Saurolophus.


Aepyornithomimus (meaning "Aepyornis mimic") is a genus of ornithomimid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Djadokhta Formation in Mongolia. It lived in the Campanian, around 80 million years ago, when the area is thought to have been a desert. The type and only species is A. tugrikinensis.


Deinocheiridae is a family of ornithomimosaurian dinosaurs, living in Asia from the Albian until the Maastrichtian. The family was originally named by Halszka Osmólska and Roniewicz in 1970, including only the type genus Deinocheirus. In a 2014 study by Yuong-Nam Lee and colleagues and published in the journal Nature, it was found that Deinocheiridae was a valid family. Lee et al. found that based on a new phylogenetic analysis including the recently discovered complete skeletons of Deinocheirus, the type genus, as well as Garudimimus and Beishanlong, could be placed as a successive group, with Beishanlong as the most primitive and Deinocheirus as most derived. The family Garudimimidae, named in 1981 by Rinchen Barsbold, is now a junior synonym of Deinocheiridae as the latter family includes the type genus of the former. The group existed from 115 to 69 million years ago, with Beishanlong living from 115 to 100 mya, Garudimimus living from 98 to 83 mya, and Deinocheirus living from 71 to 69 mya.


Deinocheirus ( DY-no-KY-rəs) is a genus of large ornithomimosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous around 70 million years ago. In 1965, a pair of large arms, shoulder girdles, and a few other bones of a new dinosaur were first discovered in the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. In 1970, this specimen became the holotype of the only species within the genus, Deinocheirus mirificus; the genus name is Greek for "horrible hand". No further remains were discovered for almost fifty years, and its nature remained a mystery. Two more complete specimens were described in 2014, which shed light on many aspects of the animal. Parts of these new specimens had been looted from Mongolia some years before, but were repatriated in 2014.

Deinocheirus was an unusual ornithomimosaur, the largest of the clade at 11 m (36 ft) long, and weighing 6.4 t (7.1 short tons). Though it was a bulky animal, it had many hollow bones which saved weight. The arms were among the largest of any bipedal dinosaur at 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long, with large, blunt claws on its three-fingered hands. The legs were relatively short, and bore blunt claws. Its vertebrae had tall neural spines that formed a "sail" along its back. The tail ended in pygostyle-like vertebrae, which indicate the presence of a fan of feathers. The skull was 1.024 m (3.36 ft) long, with a wide bill and a deep lower jaw, similar to those of hadrosaurs.

The classification of Deinocheirus was long uncertain, and it was initially placed in the theropod group Carnosauria, but similarities with ornithomimosaurians were soon noted. After more complete remains were found, Deinocheirus was shown to be a primitive ornithomimosaurian, most closely related to the smaller genera Garudimimus and Beishanlong, together forming the family Deinocheiridae. Members of this group were not adapted for speed, unlike other ornithomimosaurs. Deinocheirus is thought to have been omnivorous; its skull shape indicates a diet of plants, fish scales were found in association with one specimen and gastroliths were also present in the stomach region of the specimen. The large claws may have been used for digging and gathering plants. Bite marks on Deinocheirus bones have been attributed to the tyrannosaurid Tarbosaurus.


Gallimimus ( GAL-i-MY-məs) is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago (mya). Gallimimus is the largest known ornithomimid; adults were about 6 metres (20 ft) long, 1.9 metres (6 ft 3 in) tall at the hip and weighed about 440 kilograms (970 lb). As evidenced by its relative Ornithomimus, it would have had feathers. The head was small and light with large eyes that faced to the sides. The snout was long compared to other ornithomimids, although it was broader and more rounded at the tip than in other species. Gallimimus was toothless with a keratinous (horny) beak, and had a delicate lower jaw. Many of the vertebrae had openings that indicate they were pneumatic (air-filled). The neck was proportionally long in relation to the trunk. The hands were proportionally the shortest of any ornithomimosaur and each had three digits with curved claws. The forelimbs were weak while the hindlimbs were proportionally long.

Several fossils in various stages of growth were discovered by Polish-Mongolian expeditions in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia during the 1960s; a large skeleton discovered in this region was made the holotype specimen of the new genus and species Gallimimus bullatus in 1972. The generic name means "chicken mimic", referring to the similarities between its neck vertebrae and those of the Galliformes. The specific name is derived from bulla, a gold capsule worn by Roman youth, in reference to a bulbous structure at the base of the skull of Gallimimus. At the time it was named, the fossils of Gallimimus represented the most complete and best preserved ornithomimid material yet discovered, and the genus remains one of the best known members of the group. The family Ornithomimidae is part of the group Ornithomimosauria, the "ostrich dinosaurs". Anserimimus, also from Mongolia, is thought to have been the closest relative of Gallimimus.

As an ornithomimid, Gallimimus would have been a fleet (or cursorial) animal, using its speed to escape predators; its speed has been estimated at 42-56 km/h (29-34 mph). It may have had good vision and intelligence comparable to ratite birds. Gallimimus may have lived in groups, based on the discovery of several specimens preserved in a bone bed. Various theories have been proposed regarding the diet of Gallimimus and other ornithomimids. The highly mobile neck may have helped locate small prey on the ground, but it may also have been an opportunistic omnivore. It has also been suggested that it used small columnar structures in its beak for filter-feeding in water, though these structures may instead have been ridges used for feeding on tough plant material, indicative of a herbivorous diet. Gallimimus is the most commonly found ornithomimosaur in the Nemegt Formation, where it lived alongside its relatives Anserimimus and Deinocheirus. Gallimimus was featured in the movie Jurassic Park, in a scene that was important to the history of special effects, and in shaping the common conception of dinosaurs as bird-like animals.

List of Asian dinosaurs

This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Asia excluding the Indian Subcontinent, which was part of a separate landmass for much of the Mesozoic. This list does not include dinosaurs that live or lived after the Mesozoic age such as birds.

List of dinosaur genera

This list of dinosaurs is a comprehensive listing of all genera that have ever been included in the superorder Dinosauria, excluding class Aves (birds, both living and those known only from fossils) and purely vernacular terms.

The list includes all commonly accepted genera, but also genera that are now considered invalid, doubtful (nomen dubium), or were not formally published (nomen nudum), as well as junior synonyms of more established names, and genera that are no longer considered dinosaurs. Many listed names have been reclassified as everything from birds to crocodilians to petrified wood. The list contains 1559 names, of which approximately 1192 are considered either valid dinosaur genera or nomina dubia.

Nemegt Formation

The Nemegt Formation (or Nemegtskaya Svita) is a geological formation in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, dating to the Late Cretaceous. It overlies and sometimes interfingers with the Barun Goyot Formation. Interfingering has been noted at the stratotype (Red Walls) and Khermeen Tsav. It consists of river channel sediments and contains fossils of fish, turtles, crocodilians, and a diverse fauna of dinosaurs, including birds. The climate associated with it was wetter than when preceding formations were deposited; there seems to have existed at least some degree of forest cover. Fossilized trunks have been also found.

There has been no absolute dating of the Nemegt Formation. It is, however, almost certainly early Maastrichtian c 71-70 Ma. Gradzinski and others considered a Campanian age possible but more recent research indicates otherwise. A Campanian age no longer seems credible, because the Alagteegian (or lower Djadokhtan, at the locality "Chuluut Uul") has been radiometrically dated at about 73.5 Ma or even younger (a more recent K/Ar date is 71.6 +/- 1.6 Ma). The c 73.5 (or perhaps 72) Ma Alagteegian is separated from the Nemegt by the "classic" Djadokhtan (e.g. Bayan Dzag), later Djadohktan (represented by Ukhaa Tolgod) and Barungoyotian (Khulsan). All these intervening horizons almost certainly represent more than the 1.5 million years between the dated Alagteegian level and the onset of Maastrichtian time (72.1 million Ma according to current dating). Ergo the Nemegt is entirely Maastrichtian. See also Shuvalov, Sochava and Martinsson The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. The presence of Saurolophus further supports an early Maastrichtian age as the same genus occurs in the early Maastrichtian Horseshoe Canyon formation.


Nqwebasaurus (IPA: [ᵑǃʷɛbaˈsɔɹəs]; anglicized as ) is a basal coelurosaur and is the basal-most member of the coelurosaurian clade Ornithomimosauria from the Early Cretaceous of South Africa. The name Nqwebasaurus is derived from the Xhosa word "Nqweba" which is the local name for the Kirkwood district, and "thwazi" is ancient Xhosa for lightning. Currently it is the only known coelurosaur discovered in Africa and shows that basal coelurosaurian dinosaurs inhabited Gondwana 50 million years earlier than previously thought. The type specimen of Nqwebasaurus was discovered by William J. de Klerk who is affiliated with the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. It is the only fossil of its species found to date and was found in the Kirkwood Formation of the Uitenhage Group. Nqwebasaurus has the unofficial nickname “Kirky” due to being found in the Kirkwood.


Ornithomimidae (meaning "bird-mimics") is a group of theropod dinosaurs which bore a superficial resemblance to modern ostriches. They were fast, omnivorous or herbivorous dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period of Laurasia (now Asia and North America). The group first appeared in the Early Cretaceous.


The Ornithomimosauria, ornithomimosaurs ("bird-mimic lizards") or ostrich dinosaurs are theropod dinosaurs which bore a superficial resemblance to modern ostriches. They were fast, omnivorous or herbivorous dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period of Laurasia (now Asia, Europe and North America), as well as Africa and possibly Australia. The group first appeared in the Early Cretaceous and persisted until the Late Cretaceous. Primitive members of the group include Nqwebasaurus, Pelecanimimus, Shenzhousaurus, Hexing and Deinocheirus, the arms of which reached 2.4 m (8 feet) in length. More advanced species, members of the family Ornithomimidae, include Gallimimus, Struthiomimus, and Ornithomimus. Some paleontologists, like Paul Sereno, consider the enigmatic alvarezsaurids to be close relatives of the ornithomimosaurs and place them together in the superfamily Ornithomimoidea (see classification below).


Ornithomimus (; "bird mimic") is a genus of ornithomimid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now North America. Ornithomimus was a swift bipedal theropod which fossil evidence indicates was covered in feathers, equipped with a small toothless beak that may indicate an omnivorous diet. It is usually classified into two species: the type species, Ornithomimus velox, and a referred species, Ornithomimus edmontonicus. O. velox was named in 1890 by Othniel Charles Marsh on the basis of a foot and partial hand from the late Maastrichtian-age Denver Formation of Colorado, United States. Another seventeen species have been named since, though most of them have subsequently been assigned to new genera or shown to be not directly related to Ornithomimus velox. The best material of species still considered part of the genus has been found in Alberta, Canada, representing the species O. edmontonicus, known from several skeletons from the early Maastrichtian Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Additional species and specimens from other formations are sometimes classified as Ornithomimus, such as Ornithomimus samueli (alternately classified in the genera Dromiceiomimus or Struthiomimus) from the earlier, Campanian-age Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta.

Rinchen Barsbold

Dr. Rinchen Barsbold (Mongolian: Ринченгийн Барсболд, Rinchyengiin Barsbold, born December 21, 1935 in Ulaanbaatar) is a Mongolian paleontologist and geologist. He works with the Institute of Geology, at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He is recognized around the world as a leader in vertebrate paleontology and Mesozoic stratigraphy.

Barsbold has been instrumental in the discovery and recovery of one of the largest dinosaur collections in the world. His work has projected Mongolian paleontology into world prominence and helped to form a more modern understanding of the later stages of dinosaur evolution in Eurasia.

Barsbold has had considerable influence on dinosaur paleontology in the Communist world. Barsbold's scientific work has made him a leading authority on theropods of the Gobi Desert, starting with his doctoral dissertation on these dinosaurs. As early as 1983, he noted that in different lineages of theropods, many features previously only known from birds had evolved in various combinations (Barsbold 1983). He postulated that as a result of this "ornithization", one or several lineages of theropods that happened to acquire the proper combination of such traits went on to evolve into actual birds.

Since the identification of a number of feathered dinosaurs beginning in the late 1990s, Barsbold's ideas are more fully appreciated. When he initially published his conclusions - a list of generally rather obscure anatomical features - in 1983, there was little exchange between the Mongolian scientific community and that of Western countries. Moreover, Barsbold's early papers were usually published in Russian, in which few Western scientists are fluent. In addition, Evgeny Kurochkin - probably the leading specialist on bird paleontology in the then-Communist world - was critical of the theropod-bird link, working with and teaching mostly Cenozoic bird paleontology. Therefore, Barsbold's theories initially had more impact among "dinosaur" paleontologists in Mongolia, the USSR, and allied countries.


Sinornithomimus is a genus of ornithomimid theropod dinosaur found in 1997, in the early Late Cretaceous strata of the Ulansuhai Formation located at Alshanzuo Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Northern China.


Struthiomimus (meaning "ostrich mimic", from the Greek στρούθειος/stroutheios meaning "of the ostrich" and μῖμος/mimos meaning "mimic" or "imitator") is a genus of ornithomimid dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous of North America. Ornithomimids were long-legged, bipedal, ostrich-like dinosaurs with toothless beaks. The type species, Struthiomimus altus, is one of the more common small dinosaurs found in Dinosaur Provincial Park; its abundance suggests that these animals were herbivores or omnivores rather than pure carnivores.


Tarbosaurus ( TAR-bə-SAWR-əs; meaning "alarming lizard") is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that flourished in Asia about 70 million years ago, at the end of the Late Cretaceous Period. Fossils have been recovered in Mongolia, with more fragmentary remains found further afield in parts of China.

Although many species have been named, modern paleontologists recognize only one, T. bataar, as valid. Some experts see this species as an Asian representative of the North American genus Tyrannosaurus; this would make the genus Tarbosaurus redundant. Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, if not synonymous, are considered to be at least closely related genera. Alioramus, also from Mongolia, is thought by some authorities to be the closest relative of Tarbosaurus.

Like most known tyrannosaurids, Tarbosaurus was a large bipedal predator, weighing up to five tonnes and equipped with about sixty large teeth. It had a unique locking mechanism in its lower jaw and the smallest forelimbs relative to body size of all tyrannosaurids, renowned for their disproportionately tiny, two-fingered forelimbs.

Tarbosaurus lived in a humid floodplain criss-crossed by river channels. In this environment, it was an apex predator, probably preying on other large dinosaurs like the hadrosaur Saurolophus or the sauropod Nemegtosaurus. Tarbosaurus is represented by dozens of fossil specimens, including several complete skulls and skeletons. These remains have allowed scientific studies focusing on its phylogeny, skull mechanics, and brain structure.

Timeline of ornithomimosaur research

This timeline of ornithomimosaur research is a chronological listing of events in the history of paleontology focused on the ornithomimosaurs, a group of bird-like theropods popularly known as the ostrich dinosaurs. Although fragmentary, probable, ornithomimosaur fossils had been described as far back as the 1860s, the first ornithomimosaur to be recognized as belonging to a new family distinct from other theropods was Ornithomimus velox, described by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1890. Thus the ornithomimid ornithomimosaurs were one of the first major Mesozoic theropod groups to be recognized in the fossil record. The description of a second ornithomimosaur genus did not happen until nearly 30 years later, when Henry Fairfield Osborn described Struthiomimus in 1917. Later in the 20th century, significant ornithomimosaur discoveries began occurring in Asia. The first was a bonebed of "Ornithomimus" (now Archaeornithomimus) asiaticus found at Iren Debasu. More Asian discoveries took place even later in the 20th century, including the disembodied arms of Deinocheirus mirificus and the new genus Gallimimus bullatus. The formal naming of the Ornithomimosauria itself was performed by Rinchen Barsbold in 1976.Early research into ornithomimosaur evolution was based on comparative anatomy. In 1972, Dale Russell argued that the Jurassic Elaphrosaurus of Africa was an ancestral relative of ornithomimids. The descriptions of Garudimimus and Harpymimus in the 1980s revealed the existence of primitive ornithomimosaurs outside of the Ornithomimidae proper. Subsequent research and discoveries during the 1990s refined science's knowledge of ornithomimosaur evolution. In 1994, Pelecanimimus polyodon was described from Europe, the first known ornithomimosaur from that continent and apparently a very evolutionarily primitive taxon. From the late 1990s into the early 21st century cladistic evidence mounted against Russell's hypothesis that ornithomimosaurs were descended from a close relative of Elaphrosaurus, and favored an ancestry close to Pelecanimimus. Paleontologists found that within the theropod family tree, ornithomimosaurs were primitive coelurosaurs closely related to, but outside of, the maniraptorans.The juxtaposition of apparent evolutionary affinities to carnivorous dinosaurs with the possession of toothless beaks has led to controversy among paleontologists trying to reconstruct the diet of ornithomimosaurs. Osborn hypothesized in 1917 that ornithomimosaurs may have eaten plants, social insects, or aquatic invertebrates. In the 1970s paleontologists Russell, Halszka Osmolska, and her colleagues considered ornithomimosaurs carnivores that may have fed on insects, small vertebrates, or eggs. In the early to mid 1980s, however Russell and Elizabeth Nicholls began advocating a reinterpretation of ornithomimosaurs as herbivores. With the 1999 report of gastroliths in the new genus Sinornithomimus, came further support for reinterpreting ornithomimosaurs as herbivores or filter feeders rather than carnivores. In 2001, Mark Norell reported a comb-like structure in the beak of Gallimimus that may have been used for filter feeding, bringing renewed credibility to one of Osborn's 1917 hypotheses. If this interpretation of the evidence is correct, Gallimimus would be the largest terrestrial filter feeder in history.


Tototlmimus is an extinct genus of ornithomimid dinosaur. Its remains were found from the late Cretaceous Packard Formation, in the Sonora state, México.

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