STL Science Center

STL Science Center

23 January 2015

Bending the Rule

There are technically no rules in the order of entries around here, however, typically the animals discussed oscillate between carnivore and herbivore with an omnivore mixed in here and there. Standing between the heights of extant Turkeys and Emus, Avimimus portentosus was one of those potentially omnivorous species that is, this week, wiggling its way into the rotation. A theropod averaging approximately 1.5 meters (5 feet) long including its tail and just under 1 meter (3.3 feet) tall when not standing completely erect and stretched out. Discovered in Mongolia in 1981, Avimimus was thought to be an insectivore, as many oviraptorid dinosaurs usually are, but is now hypothesized to have been more omnivorous. Evidence indicates that this may have been a semi-gregarious dinosaur that dabbled at the edges of marshlands and collected in large flocks or herds throughout the year.

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