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an omnivorous ornithomimosaurian theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain.
Pronunciation: pel-ih-KAN-i-MIEM-us
Meaning: Pelican mimic
Author/s: Perez-Moreno et al. (1994)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Cuenca, Spain
Chart Position: 322

Pelecanimimus polyodon

With two hundred and twenty teeth in a rather long and shallow, Gallimimus-like snout, Pelecanimimus trumped every other ornithomimosaur whose gnashers generally numbered... well, none. Apart, that is, from Mongolia's Harpymimus—the first "bird mimic" discovered with teeth—and the 2003-named Shenzhousaurus from China, who had 22 and 14-18 teeth respectively, but only in the tip of their lower jaws.

This tooth-count is also far more than any theropod from any place or time, which ain't bad going for a roughly two meter long omnivore, and it had different kinds ranging from small, cylindrical and unserrated in the front of its jaws to sharp and blade-like in the back. So many teeth would normally suggest carnivory, if there were any spaces between them, but the teeth of Pelecanimimus are so closely-packed they seem to form one continuous cutting surface, which would be replaced by another form of continuous cutting surface—a beak—in later bird mimic dinosaurs.

Discovered in Spain, Pelecanimimus is the first ornithomimosaur known from Europe, and was found in lagerstätte beds which are renowned for their extraordinary fossils with exceptional preservation. Soft tissue attached to Palecanimimus suggests it may have sported a throat pouch much like a pelican, hence the name, and it's the first of its kind to be found with a hyoid — a roughly horseshoe-shaped bone in the neck which provides an anchor point for the muscles of the tongue.
(Pelican mimic with many teeth)Etymology
Pelecanimimus is derived from the Latin "pelecanus" (pelican) and the Greek "mimos" (mimic), so named because of its unusually long, shallow face and impressions on the underside of its skull which may have been attachment points for a pelican-like gular pouch. The species epithet, polyodon (po-LIE-o-don), is derived from the Greek "polys" (many) and "odon" (tooth).
The remains of Pelecanimimus were discovered in the lagerstätte beds—famous for exquisitly preserved fossils—within the Calizas de La Huérguina Formation, Las Hoyas, Cuenca Province, Spain, by Armando Díaz Romeral in July 1993. The holotype (LH 7777, housed at the Museo de Cuenca, Spain) includes the front half of a skeleton including the skull.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 130-125 mya
Est. max. length: 2.5 meters
Est. max. hip height: 1.3 meters
Est. max. weight: 20 Kg
Diet: Omnivore
• Perez-Moreno, B. P., Sanz, J. L., Buscalioni, A. D., Moratalla, J. J., Ortega, F., and Raskin-Gutman, D. (1994). "A unique multitoothed ornithomimosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain".
• P. Makovicky, Y. Kobayashi and P.J. Currie (2004) "Ornithomimosauria" p137-150 in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (2004) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Kobayashi, Y., and Barsbold, R. (2005) "Anatomy of Harpymimus okladnikovi Barsbold and Perle 1984 (Dinosauria; Theropoda) of Mongolia" in Carpenter, K. (2005) "The Carnivorous Dinosaurs" (Indiana University Press).
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "PELECANIMIMUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Jan 2018.