|1st Species||Pelecanimimus polyodon|
|Time Range||130-125 mya|
|Name Meaning||Pelican mimic|
|Physical Dimensions||2.5 meters long|
Pelecanimimus is a theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain. It was named in 1994 by Bernardino P. Perez-Moreno and his crew. It was one of the most unique theropods at the time, as even though it was related to ornithomimids like Ornithomimus and Gallimimus, its general body plan still differed from them.
Pelecanimimus was a very birdlike theropod with long legs, long, slender arms, a moderately long neck, and an elongated, bird-like head with large eyes. However, it also had a few unique traits; for example, it had a small, keratinous crest on its head, lots of small teeth on its jaws, and a throat pouch extending from the middle of its jaw to the upper part of its neck (hence the meaning of its name, "pelican mimic"). Most of its body (excluding most of its legs and all of its snout) would have been covered in short, fuzz-like feathers; however, its arms would have had long, vaned feathers, similar to all other advanced theropods.
Pelecanimimus was a predator, preying on fish and small amphibians. Strangely enough for a theropod related to ornithomimids, it had many teeth on its pointed jaws, which would have been used to get a hold of struggling prey; as well as this, the extendable throat sac attaching to its lower jaw would have been used to store water and fish.
Unlike its relatives, the ornithomimids, which had completely toothless jaws, Pelecanimimus had many small, sharp teeth on its jaws, which would have given it a bite that cut and ripped food into pieces; along with a large throat pouch that was discovered in a well-preserved specimen, this feature tells us that Pelecanimimus was more carnivorous than its later, more advanced cousins. It may have waded around in the large lake in the center of its habitat, grabbing any fish or frogs with its jaws and collecting them with its throat pouch before swallowing them later. Along with this, the same specimen showed that Pelecanimimus had a small, triangular crest at the back of its head. It is most likely that this crest was used for display, but whether it was used for attracting mates or recognition by other members of its species is yet unknown.