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an omnivorous ornithomimosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia.
Pronunciation: gah-ROO-di-MIEM-us
Meaning: Garuda mimic
Author/s: Barsbold (1981)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Ömnögov, Mongolia
Chart Position: 230

Garudimimus brevipes

Although named after Garuda, a ginormous eagle charged with ferrying the Hindi God Vishnu, Garudimimus was among the smallest of the ornithomimosaurs or "bird mimics". Compared to other ornithomimosaurs it had quite short and less muscular legs too, and shorter, heavier feet with an extra toe, so it wasn't exactly built for speed. But when Y.Kobayashi expanded on Barsbold's somewhat terse initial description in 2005 a whole host of features were brought to light which more than made up for its lack of pace.

In a topsy-turvy manner, Garudimimus is the most primitive ornithomimosaur but totally toothless, which is a feature more common among its advanced relatives. Its long, straight and slender snout was rounded at the tip, and like the advanced ornithomimids was adorned with rhamphotheca (the keratin coating that forms beaks). This beak was designed for plucking with the tip and slicing with the sharpened edges, but it wasn't plucking guts or shearing flesh because Garudimimus was a vegetarian. Probably.

Garudimimus sports eleven scleral plates (the same number as the Ruddy Ground Dove, coincidently) which were arranged in a "sclerotic ring" around its eyes and told experts a lot about its lifestyle. In predators, particularly birds of prey who fly hard and fast, these plates are greater in number to support the eyes, and while they are generally fewer in timid herbivores those with larger eyes (and Garudimimus had large eyes compared to its relatives) were cathemeral, meaning they were active both day and night.

Kobayashi's revisit of Garudimimus also quashed some older assumptions. For example, its feet lacked an "arctometatarsus" (though it has a semi-arctometatarsus, if you like; the middle metatarsus was "pinched" but not enough to be obscured from view by the two that flanked it), and a projection on its skull above the eyes which was initially thought to be a backwards-pointing horn turned out to be a broken snout bone that had gone astray during fossilization.

Although not the first known member of Ornithomimosauria, Garudimimus was the first ornithomimosaur to be discovered that wasn't a member of Ornithomimidae.
(Garuda mimic with small feet)Etymology
Garudimimus is derived from "Garuda" (the Vahana (mount) of the Hindu God Vishnu) and the Greek "mimos" (mimic). The species epithet, brevipes, is derived from the Latin "brevis" (short) and "pes" (foot).
Garudimimus is the only bird mimic to honor a "proper" mythical bird. Harpimimus is named after the Greek Harpies but they're not really birds, more... winged harbingers of doom so they don't count. Some say Garuda is a swan or even an eagle. We think it looks like a goose, though we're not ornithologists!
The remains of Garudimimus were discovered in the Bayan Shireh Formation, Baishin-Tsav, Ömnögovi Province, Mongolia, during a joint Soviet-Mongolian expedition to the Gobi Desertin 1981. The holotype (GI 100/13) is a nearly complete skeleton.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Cenomanian-Turonian
Age range: 99-89 mya
Est. max. length: 2.5 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 30 Kg
Diet: Omnivore
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "GARUDIMIMUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 25th Mar 2017.