STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 May 2017

Citipati's Anatomy

The skull of Citipati is among the most iconic skulls of all theropods, if not all dinosaurs. This skull has brought about much interest and description. The original description of the material, of course, is online and is worth reading. The paper includes detailed photographs of the skull Citipati and a second description of another oviraptorid, Khaan mckennai. One of the original descriptions was published less than a year after the description of the original material as a re-description of the cranium by Clark, Norell, and Rowe with comments on another specimen, Oviraptor philoceratops. This paper contains a detailed description of the cranial material and multiple angle, well labeled, photographs of the holotype cranial material, skull and mandible, that are very helpful for understanding the overall anatomy of the skull. The publication also includes CT scans of the material. Beyond the anatomy, Citipati has been used as a basis for parental care in dinosaurs and to explain the origins of avian parental care. Their nesting and parental care has also served as the base for growth studies in nesting dinosaurs. The reason that there are so many studies of Citipati eggs, nesting, and growth is because there have been many finds of Citipati on their nests as well as eggs containing Citipati embryo without the parents found nearby.
Photo by Jordi PayĆ  from Barcelona, Catalonia

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