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The Facts on the Mini Gallimimus Dinosaur

Updated on April 25, 2014

Artist's Impression of the Gallimimus

Author - Steveoc 86
Author - Steveoc 86 | Source

What is a Gallimimus?

The Gallimimus was a mini dinosaur similar to the Struthiomimus. Gallimimus has three meanings to its name which are 'hen mimic, 'chicken mimic' and 'rooster mimic'. These names does not actually relate to the dinosaur completely and could be misleading, and the sources they are from are unofficial. However, the mini creature does resemble slightly to common birds but it did not fly. The Gallimimus was first discovered in Mongolia in the Gobi Desert in the early 1970's. The name was given by three paleontologists Rinchen Barsbold, Ewa Roniewicz and Halszka Osmolska in 1972. Maybe each of these Polish experts gave the nicknames to the meaning of Gallimimus.

The Gallimimus was built for its speed and agility. It had a short and light body and long rear legs. Scientists believe it had the capability of running up to speeds of 70kph (43mph) just like an ostrich. It took very long strides and could outrun most carnivorous predators. Because it looked like an ostrich with a long neck and toothless beak, it had no feathers or wings to fly. Its rigid tail helped the Gallimimus to balance itself whilst running a high speeds.

Gallimimus had short arms with three claws on its hands. The claws were sharp, but it unable to graps things very well and did not eat meat because it could not tear it up well. However, the sharp claws of the Gallimimus were useful in on way. It used the claws to scrape away at the soil to dig up eggs for dinner. It ate mostly plants and also fed on small insects and it even chased lizards. The small head it possessed, was ideal for digging in the mud to search for insects. Basically, this bird looking like dinosaur probably ate anything which it could find on the ground.

The Basic Points of Gallimimus

  • Its diet was plants, eggs, insects and lizards, and was an omnivore
  • Its average size was up to 4 meters long and 3 meters high
  • It weighed around 440kg (970 pounds)
  • It belonged to the family of the Theropoda
  • It lived around 65 -70 million years ago in Mongolia in the Cretaceous period.


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    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 5 years ago

      You are correct, but I still can't figure out why it's also known as a rooster or a hen. It's more like an ostrich and the experts should have referred it as an ostrich-like mimic instead, just like the Struthiomimus.

    • bamuscarella profile image

      Brittany 5 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Gallimimus is from the Latin "gallus" meaning chicken and the Greek "mimos," to mimic. That's the origin of the meaning "chicken mimic."