|1st Species||Gallimimus bullatus|
|Time Range||70 mya|
|Name Meaning||Chicken mimic|
|Physical Dimensions||6 meters long|
Gallimimus is an ornithomimid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. It was named in 1972 by Halszka Osmólska. It was the largest ornithomimid discovered, and it had a unique lifestyle that may have differed from other ornithomimids.
Gallimimus was an ostrich-like theropod with long legs, a long tail, long, slender arms, a moderately long neck, and an elongated, bird-like head with large eyes and a toothless beak. As well as this, it was unique in the sense that the interior portion of its beak had ridges, and that its hands were proportionally smaller than those of other ornithomimids. Most of its body (excluding most of its legs and all of its beak) would have been covered in short, fuzz-like feathers; however, its arms would have had long, vaned feathers, similar to all other advanced theropods.
Gallimimus would have been an herbivore, feeding on leaves and fruits by grabbing them with its beak before swallowing them. However, some may speculate that it, like most herbivorous birds, would have also supplemented its diet with animal protein, snacking on insects, crustaceans, lizards, small mammals, and eggs from time to time.
Gallimimus' forearms were weaker and had shorter hands than those of other ornithomimids, which meant that it wouldn't have used its hands to pull down branches so it can freely eat from them; some scientists speculate that it may have used its hands to dig or rake the ground in order to get food instead. Due to a large bonebed containing many individuals, we can assume that Gallimimus lived in flocks; the fact that the animals died at the same time only solidifies this hypothesis, and such a social nature may be plausible for other ornithomimids. A fossil skull of this dinosaur had columnar ridges on the inner portion of its beak, which were said have been analogous to the filter-feeding lamellae (thin plate-like structures) of a dabbling duck known as the Northern shoveler; in addition to its swampy habitat, this could have meant that Gallimimus dabbled for food in the water, swinging its beak from side to side in order to strain food from the water. However, many turtles (some of which are herbivores), as well as hadrosaurs such as Edmontosaurus also had these ridges, and are not known to dabble for food in the water, so it could be likely that Gallimimus simply fed on fibrous plants.
In popular cultureEdit
Gallimimus was first introduced to the public in the 1993 science fiction movie, Jurassic Park, where it was portrayed with scaly skin, and it was shown stampeding down a hilly prairie in large flocks in order to evade predators such as Tyrannosaurus. This portrayal is part of what made the Jurassic Park dinosaurs seem so bird-like during a time when dinosaurs would no longer be perceived as slow, cold-blooded giants, and so, Gallimimus itself saw a massive boost in popularity, appearing in many other pieces of media about dinosaurs.