US Researchers Discover Remains of Ornithomimosaur, World’s Fastest Dinosaur that Resembled Ostrich

Last Updated: OCTOBER 21, 2022, 13:33 IST

In an astonishing discovery, researchers in North America have stumbled across the remains of the world’s fastest dinosaur, the ornithomimosaur—Newsweek reported. An indisputable addition to North America’s fossil record, the remains were identified from the Eutaw Formation of Mississippi, USA. The rather large-sized dinosaurs were said to resemble birds, and they roamed the Northern Hemisphere between 145 million and 66 million years ago. Tom Cullen, one of the study’s authors, told Newsweek that ornithomimosaurs refer to a “particular group of bipedal dinosaurs”, most of which are generally ostrich-like in appearance.

Cullen revealed that the dinosaurs generally had “large eyes, long arms with relatively large, clawed hands, long legs, a long tail, and either small or no teeth.” He told Newsweek that the teeth are absent in later ornithomimosaurs due to them “having a keratinous beak to assist in processing food.” He also shared that the bird-like dinosaurs were distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. Ornithomimosaurs were said to be like “ostriches or emus” in the food web, a fairly medium-sized, “mostly-herbivorous animal that is very fast on its feet.”

According to the same report, these dinosaurs were universally small-bodied, weighing approximately 26 pounds. Chase Brownstein, a research associate at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, told Newsweek that gradually, as time passed, larger species of dinosaurs began to evolve. The smallest amongst ornithomimosaurs were the 125-million-year-old Chinese species Hexing qingyi in comparison to the 72-million-year-old Deinocheirus mirificus from Mongolia. The latter was said to be a massive, “hump-backed, giant-armed animal over 33 feet long.”

Adding that the discovery could be a breakthrough in terms of people’s understanding of ornithomimosaurs, Tom Cullen said that researchers knew so much more about the dinosaurs that lived in western North America as compared to those that lived in eastern North America. He mentioned that this is due to the fact there are so many more “extensive deposits of rocks” in western North America that preserve the environments dinosaurs lived in.

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