Click here for more Oviraptor Pictures
Oviraptor was about 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) long. It probably weighed something in the region of 60 to 70 pounds (27 to 32 kilograms).
Physically, Oviraptor, like several of its relatives (Caudipteryx, Nomingia and Protarchaeopteryx) seems to have been quite bird-like. Some appear to have a pygostyle (fused final vertebrae as found in birds), and extensive coverings of feathers. Oviraptor is also usually depicted as having a crest on its head similar to modern cassowary birds, however although it is though likely that Oviraptor did have a crest (its close relatives certainly did), the only recognised specimen of Oviraptor has a crushed skull, so we can not be sure of the exact size, shape or positioning of Oviraptor's crest.
When Oviraptor was first found (it was discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews, and then described and named by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1924), it was thought that eggs were the most important part of its diet.
The reason why eggs were thought to be important in Oviraptor's diet are: Osborn noted that Oviraptor's skull was found just inches away from a nest of dinosaur eggs (believed at the time to be Protoceratops eggs). Additionally, Henry Fairfield Osborn, speculated that the animal's the toothless beak, as well as bones beneath its jaw, would have formed an effective egg-piercing tool. As a result of this, Osborn chose the name "Oviraptor", which means "egg seizer". That said, Osborn did not seem entirely confident of the egg-eating hypothesis - he did caution that the name "Oviraptor" might be misleading.
Recently however, fossils of relatives of Oviraptor have been found brooding their own eggs, and hence it is possible that the eggs that Oviraptor was found close to, were actually its own. As a result of these discoveries, many scientists now think that Oviraptor may well have been an omnivore, possibly eating small animals, eggs, insects and plants. An alternative or additional hypothesis is that Oviraptor may have eaten molluscs such as clams - its jaws seem to be strong enough to break their shells, and molluscs are found in the same geological formation as Oviraptor.
Oviraptor was an omnivore (ate meat and plants) that lived about 75 million years ago
Related Information & Resources
Discuss This Page
Please feel free to post your comments:
Linking to This Page
We do hope that you find this site useful. We welcome people linking to this website or citing us.