Struthiomimus Is Known As An Ostrich Mimic
Struthiomimus was a lightweight member of the prehistoric dinosaur world. Named officially as “ostrich mimic” (Greek), Struthiomimus is a genus of the Ornithomimidae family from the Late Cretaceous Period of Alberta, Canada. The actual history of Struthiomimus is plagued with inadequate information and convolution. Initial discoveries were inaccurately assigned and it was many years before an adequate number of fossilized bone specimens prompted today’s greater accuracy in assignation. Family members include Ornithomimus, Sinornithomimus, Gallimimus and Dromiceiomimus.
|Prehistoric Era||Late Cretaceous
|Weight||330 pounds (150 kg)|
|Length||12 feet (3.7 meters)|
|Height||7 feet (2.1 meters)
|Maximum Speed||Approximately 50 mph
|Territory||North America, Canada
Struthiomimus was medium sized among other dinosaurs, light in build and had long limbs and a long neck. The brain of Struthiomimus is noted for being large in proportion to its small skull. Struthiomimus also had large eyes.
What Did Struthiomimus Look Like?
Struthiomimus was of a medium size, bipedal and bird-like in appearance. Its long rear limbs appear to be built for great speed and distance coverage, like that of today’s Ostrich. While Struthiomimus stood about four feet at the hips, actual height to the head was more like fourteen feet. The head of Struthiomimus was very small in proportion to the rest of its body, including the brain. The head was slender and seemed a simple extension from the much larger body and long neck. The jaws of this omnivore were edentulous. Its tail must have been quite useful in balance and aerodynamics, since it consisted of significantly more vertebrae than either its neck or back. The tail of this ostrich like dinosaur was stiff, and most significant to its build and performance, with at least 35 tail vertebrae and only six to the hip area and thirteen in the back. It is surprising that the neck, although very long, had only ten vertebrae.
The arms of Struthiomimus were long and slender and sported the longest hands of any Ornithomimid. The three fingers were all about the same length, with slightly curved and particularly long claws. The forearm to the fingers were immobile (no wrist), with only slight mobility of the fingers themselves. Its arms have been compared to those of a sloth.
The legs consisted of shins that were longer than the thigh, developed as cursorial elements to its existence. The feet were especially long in comparison to the long legs and the metatarsals were tightly pressed together, giving strength and durability to the ankle and foot.
It is thought that Struthiomimus would have had feathers, being of the Coelurosauria family.
What Did Struthiomimus Eat?
Struthiomimus was initially regarded as a carnivore, but has since come to be considered omnivorous. Being an opportunistic feeder, this dinosaur would have enjoyed plants and small animals, insects, fish and carrion.
The beak of Struthiomimus had a straight edge. Since its fingers appear to have been largely immobile, it has been suggested that they may have been bound together as a single unit, as a webbed foot would be for a creature of the coast or shoreline. It is theorized that Struthiomimus was a shore-dweller and could have been a filter feeder at times, in addition to the plant life of leaves from trees and shrubberies, along with buds and grasses. Struthiomimus likely still could have grasped at branches with its forelimbs and webbed fingers. Its long neck would have been useful both in the water and out, reaching the tops of trees and into the depths of the shallowest waters.
How Did Struthiomimus move?
With its long and powerful hind limbs, Struthiomimus was a powerful mover and runner. It is thought that the entire defense of Struthiomimus would have been its haste and speed in flight (running). It’s theorized that this dinosaur would have been capable of sprinting fifty miles per hour, and commonly cruised at thirty to forty miles per hour. Its tail would have been quite useful in form and balance.
Where Did Struthiomimus Live?
Thought to live near the shorelines where it likely accomplished much feeding, Struthiomimus
The Discovery of Struthiomimus
Struthiomimus was first discovered in 1901 when Lawrence Lambe found scattered remains that were largely incomplete. However, subsequent discoveries would prove to enlighten scientists as to a truer origin of this prehistoric animal. In 1914, Barnum Brown discovered a nearly complete skeleton at the Red Deer River site in Alberta and further described Struthiomimus, although again inaccurately. Many discoveries and assignations have taken place since, up until as recently as 1998.
Discoveries of fossilized Struthiomimus bones are generally sparse, disarticulated and fragmented, the bones being hollow, weak and crushed over time. There are several Struthiomimus species types: S. altus, S. brevetertius, S. samueli, S. currellii, S. ingens and S. sedens.
Still today scientists hope for further discovery regarding Struthiomimus, in order to better understand its lifestyle and demise.
The Special Speed of Struthiomimus
Struthiomimus is notable for its lack of general defense against the more carnivorous and powerful dinosaurs of its time. However, this was a fast animal that had powerful legs and is compared to today’s Ostrich in speed, strength, nimble nature and even its likely feathers.
The Significance of Struthiomimus
Struthiomimus has been found in great numbers since the first discoveries, and has often changed the minds of scientists as each new piece of the Struthiomimus puzzle has been garnered and considered.
The appearance of Struthiomimus in many films and television programs has lent an awareness of the life of prehistoric dinosaurs for years. Popularized by our modern culture, the dinosaur has been portrayed in toys also. In a popular scene, the challenging life of Struthiomimus was depicted by showcasing the likely sequence of Struthiomimus feeding on exposed dinosaur eggs, subsequently losing its attention and fighting off their mother and, eventually to be mauled by a pair of carnivores moments later.