STL Science Center

STL Science Center

08 July 2017

Mimed Pelicans

The Early Cretaceous of Spain contained many animals, including the ornithomimosaurid Pelecanimimus polyodon described by Perez-Moreno et al., 1994. This ornithomimosaurid was slightly smaller than many other, later, members of its family, measuring in at approximately 2–2.5m (6.6–8.2ft). Hypotheses of the diet of Pelecanimimus are mostly centered around the idea of a piscivorous, or fish eating, diet. It has been hypothesized that this diet is plausible because Pelecanimimus possessed both teeth, rare for an ornithomimosaur, and the remains of a soft tissue gular flap. This flap of skin stretched between the mandible and throat, just as a very similar flap of skin does in modern pelicans. Instead of flying Pelecanimimus used its relatively long legs to run from danger.
Artist description: The carcharodontosaurid Concavenator corovatus ambushing the ornithomimosaurian Pelecanimimus polydon in the Early Cretaceous of Las Hoyas, Spain. ©Durbed "Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

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