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STL Science Center
28 January 2015
Feathered Beaks and Heads
Avimimus is, with sufficient confidence, known to be a feathered Caenagnathid theropod. Caenagnathids include theropods from the basal-most Avimimus to the most derived members Conchoraptor and Khaan (not a Star Trek reference despite my personal hopes) and also includes Oviraptor and Citipati. As we saw yesterday in Kurzanov's description paper, Avimimus is considered to be a more direct ancestor to modern birds than Archaeopteryx. This is obviously not the majority rule, but given the rather interesting bird mimicry discovered in the skeleton of Avimimus, the ideas of Kurzanov regarding the origin of birds in relation to Avimimus are rather intriguing and could be considered compelling. The image accompanying this entry is not as avian as the Conway illustration shown before, but it does solidly represent the avian traits of Avimimus.