Gallimimus

theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Mongolia

The name of this dinosaur comes from Latin and means “Imitator of a Hen”, this is because it is believed to be similar to a chicken. Only one species of Gallimimus is known, it was an ornithomimid dinosaur theropod, which lived in the Cretaceous period about 80 million years ago in Asia. He was definitely a dinosaur runner his pace was light and he expanded so he could easily escape from the most fearsome predators. If we do not compare it to a current animal we can say that it looked like an ostrich, even had a beak, its beak type has been compared to that of some herbivorous turtles. yet it had no feathers and a long tail to balance it. His hands were very short compared to his long legs and the best thing is that he had three claws in each hand, they were sharp but it is not believed that they were used to fight.

His eyes were on the sides of his head, which means that he had no binocular vision, just like the birds of our day. It was one of the largest ornithomimids, some specimens were thought to be up to 6 meters long and weigh almost 500 kilos. His brain was large compared to other dinosaurs, suggesting he was a cunning dinosaur. At the same time that he lived on earth, the Velociraptor lived and it has been suggested that the Gallimimus was one of his favourite prey.

It is a dinosaur of relatively recent discovery, the first remains were discovered in the Gobi Desert in 1970, its name was given by Rinchen Barsbold, Halszaka Omólska and Ewa Riniewicz. This discovery led to the description of the only known species of Gallimimus Bullatus. In later discoveries it was thought that a second species had been found, but recently a complete analysis was made and it was concluded that it is not a Gallimimus but a different dinosaur yet to be described. In 2001 bones were found in the same desert in which the first ones were found, these remains were discovered by Peter J. Makivicky, this discovery was crucial because it was discovered that with its beak it could filter small animals in the water, as the flamingos do.

It is believed that Gallimimimus was omnivorous, meaning that it ate both plants and small animals. Most likely, their beaks were as effective at cutting leaves as they were at hunting small animals. It is believed that his diet consisted mostly of insects and worms, they had to give him all the energy and nutrients he needed, because being a large corridor needed a lot of energy to stay alive, which is why it is believed that in addition to insects ate plants. He also had claws that could help him both to cut fruit and to dig in the ground to find eggs that would surely enrich his diet greatly. The insects he ate could be found in the ground and recently it has been discovered that he may have also eaten small aquatic creatures because he could filter them out with his beak.

What makes the Gallimimus special is its great ability to run, its body was incredibly light, so much so that some of its bones were hollow, these bones, although they were very light, were used to support its whole heavy body, as they were very bulky animals. Despite being a relatively heavy dinosaur it was a really fast dinosaur, the first thing that made it fast was that it was capable of making great strides, perhaps one of the longest strides among the dinosaurs of its size, this made it a very difficult prey to hunt, surely it was capable of fleeing from the fastest and most dangerous predators. A second thing that made it fast was that its tail was not as long but it was rigid, this made it maintain its balance despite its body mass. It is said that it could have reached up to 60 kilometres per hour.

The novel The Lost World was without a doubt the novel that catapulted him to fame, it was described quite aptly there, maybe that’s why he became quite famous and even appeared in the movie Jurassic Park and you can also find it in his line of toys.