STL Science Center

STL Science Center

09 September 2014

Describing Bird Mimics

The original description of Anserimimus it appears to be missing from the collections of the internet as a whole. This rarely seems to happen with papers as new as this (1988) but it does indeed happen. Instead, today there is quite a variety of papers that reference and somewhat describe Anserimimus or its neighbors on the tree. Though not the descriptive paper, the best description of Anserimimus in publication is probably an overview of ornithomimids from the Nemegt of Mongolia. Three species are treated in this paper by Kobayashi and Barsbold: Gallimimus bullatus, Anserimimus planinychus, and Deinocheirus mirificus. The known remains of each are well described and their assignments in the family are also discussed. Though not comprehensive of each species, the descriptions are nicely detailed and are fairly easy to read also. The aper is filled with illustrations and photographs, enhancing the written description by showing in addition to telling. This paper is a good read for all three species, not just Anserimimus. The other two major papers, Bronowicz (2011) and Kobayashi and Lu (2003), describe new material similar to Anserimimus and a new bird mimic (Sinornithomimus) respectively. Each paper describes Anserimimus and how closely related it is to the animal being discussed. Bronowicz's paper uses Anserimimus quite a lot because the new material he describes is very similar but distinct (he argues) from Anserimimus. The material described is not assigned in this paper though, so its placement is still up for debate. Kobayashi and Lu's description of Sinornithomimus relies on all ornithomimids and delves into the behaviors of members of the group. These are slightly speculative, as any paleo-behavior study is, but it is also a pretty interesting and well detailed paper. A slight spoiler, the behavior they suggest is a predation deterrent involving safety in numbers, their paper describes it in more detail of course.

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