Avimimus

The imitator of prehistory

Avimimus

  • Name: Avimimus
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Weight: 20 kg
  • Period: Late Cretaceous
  • Found In: Asia

The genus Avimimimus is represented by a single species belonging to the group of the avimimid dinosaurs saurischian theropods.

This group inhabited our planet in the Cretaceous Period, approximately 70 million years ago, in the territory we know today as Asia.

The first official description of this prehistoric animal dates from 1981 and was made by Dr. Sergi Kurzanov.

The name Avimimus comes from Latin and literally means “bird imitator”, since its physiognomy is reminiscent of that of a modern bird, without leaving aside the characteristics of a dinosaur.

Want to find out more about this prehistoric animal? Be sure to read this article where you will find extensive and detailed information about the Avimimus.

Avimimimus taxonomy

  • The specimen belonged to the Animal Kingdom.
  • The specimen was inside the Ridge or the Chordata Division.
  • The Avimimus belonged to the Sauropsida class.
  • He obviously belonged to the superorder Dinosauria.
  • It was classified within the Saurischia order.
  • The suborder in which we found Avimimus is Theropoda.
  • The infraorder it belonged to is Oviraptorosauria.
  • Avimimus belonged to the family called Avimimidae.
  • The genre we refer to in this article is Avimimus.

Avimimus is represented by only one species, A. Portentosus.

We should mention that the fact that we can currently only determine A. Portentosus as the only species representing the genus Avimimus, the fact is that this could change at any time if a new species is found that can be classified within the same genus.

We must not confuse the fact that only one species has been found with the fact that we can state categorically that they no longer exist since the discovery of new fossils could change the number of species belonging to the genus.

Therefore, from this platform we will do our best to keep the taxonomy of this peculiar dinosaur updated.

Avimimus Characteristics

It is convenient to begin the description of this dinosaur by looking at one of the most important structures available, the skull.

On its skull, we can say that it was very small in comparison with the rest of the body. However, the size of the brain was reversed.

To explain it in other more enlightening words, we can say that the brain enjoyed a fairly decent dimension when compared to other specimens of similar dimensions.

Additionally, we can say that this specimen had eye pits in which the eyes were located, which were large in size compared to the total structure of the skull.

Likewise, the bony elements that had the main function of providing defense and protection to the area in which the brain would be located were also of a large size, ie, had a thick skull.

It is because of all these details that this animal is known and recognized for the large size of the brain organ is presented with respect to the rest of its anatomy and specimens of another species.

Avimimus

The dimensions of this animal were not too large, but it is still an animal worthy and interesting to study and analyze.

It has specimens of almost half a meter high and others of one meter, and with a length of about 160 centimeters.

On the other hand, there is an anatomical depression that is scientifically known as foramen magnum, an empty structure that would allow the spinal cord to connect with the brain.

According to the latest studies, this depression had a great dimension, since in paleontology a discovery does not imply the cessation of an investigation but rather strengthens it.

In addition, it has been determined that what is known as a condyle (the part that rounded off the most distal part of the skull) was of a smaller magnitude, so this detail even reveals that the skull as a whole could not have been of a considerable size.

Something totally different happened with the neck area, which was quite prolonged and extremely agile, a neck that was made up of prolonged vertebral elements.

Through comparative studies, it has been established that these elements were much longer than the vertebrae of other specimens that are also found inside the oviraptorosaurians.

A difference that this animal had with other specimens located within the so-called oviraptóridos and even with other animals known as cenagnátidos (another family of oviraptóridos that turns out to be somewhat different), is that the Avimimus did not have the famous openings that were located in the rear area of the vertebral elements.

These openings actually served to form structures called air sacks. So this detail tells us that the dinosaur in this article is much older than the rest of the specimens in the same group.

A quality that this animal possesses and that is similar to that of the animals we know today as birds, is that the bony elements that make up the structure of its front legs, is that they are totally linked or fused, looking like it is a single bone.

In addition, we can observe the presence of a song precisely in the ulna itself, which was cataloged as an essential element for the feathers to be inserted according to Kurzanov, a highly prestigious researcher of the last century who, as we mentioned at the beginning, gave the first official description of Avimimus.

characteristics-avimimus

This first description also meant that three years before entering the 1990s the scientist made public the news of his great achievement: finding a structure called a keel, a unique structure of birds but one that appeared within the bone structure of the Avimimus animal.

Meanwhile, another paleontologist named Chiappe was in charge of informing the entire scientific community that this animal presented elements called bumps, precisely in the bone we had mentioned, in the ulna, although he could not make known the true function of this element.

On the same subject, Kurzanov ventured to affirm that such a structure was probably designed in such a way as to promote in some way the flight of the dinosaur that is the protagonist of this article.

However, this statement goes beyond the real and enters the realm of assumptions, since it is something that has not yet been proven or denied in a reliable way, and this is the event that accompanies all the theories.

This theory has led a large number of researchers to admit that the animal may have presented feathers, but it is those same researchers who

In addition, what we know today as Ilion, was arranged in a completely horizontal way, unlike other similar specimens with which it is often compared. By the disposition of the Ilion, it can be observed that the hips of this creature were really extensive, a detail that as we already mentioned, offered him a differentiating feature.

Due to the structure that this animal had in the extremities that commonly are known as legs, this dinosaur was very fast possibly and used this speed to hunt other smaller specimens as well as to flee when the moment needed it.

It is believed that it was a great and fast corridor, not only for the size of its extremities but also for the detail that it possessed, some elements denominated as pimples.

These elements also enjoyed considerable length compared to the rest of the structure, which we know as thighs. This characteristic occurred quite frequently in animals that had a high speed and agility when moving.

Avimimus feeding

This mysterious specimen did not actually have a tooth structure, but it did have a structure very similar to that of parrot beaks.

This phenomenon also happened in other similar specimens, among which we can mention the Oviraptor, and of course also other species of the Caenagnathidae family.

It is because of this quality that it is presumed that the dinosaur in this article could most likely have been a true herbivore, that is to say, it based its diet on the net consumption of vegetables, however, there is the possibility that it actually fed on all kinds of food, not just vegetables, being an omnivore.

On the one hand, Kurzanov suggests and points out with complete certainty that this dinosaur, Avimimus, was, in fact, a net insect hunter, who was dedicated to tracking rather quickly.

It is also assumed that after capturing them he decided to devour them with great pleasure, a view that is criticized by a group of researchers dedicated to Paleontology.