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Dinosaur!

 
   
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Oviraptor
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Oviraptor

   

Oviraptor



dinosaur picture oviraptor

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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Theropoda
  (unranked) Coelurosauria
  Parvorder Oviraptorosauria
  Family Oviraptoridae
  Genus Oviraptor
Oviraptor was an ominovorous dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous period, about 75 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Mongolia, as well a possible second specimen in the Inner Mongolian region of China.

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 Timeline:



Oviraptor was an omnivore (ate meat and plants) that lived about 75 million years ago

Oviraptor was an omnivore (ate meat and plants) that lived about 75 million years ago

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Oviraptor Facts

 
Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Oviraptor:
  1. Oviraptor was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Oviraptor" means "egg seizer". The name was chosen by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1924.

  3. Oviraptor was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Oviraptor was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Oviraptor was a Theropod - a member of a group of related bipedal dinosaurs that included the ancestors of birds (although Oviraptor was not itself an ancestor of birds).

  5. Oviraptor lived about 75 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.

  6. Oviraptor lived in Mongolia, and possibly China.

  7. Oviraptor was a omnivore (ate both meat and plants).

  8. Oviraptor was about 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) long.

  9. Oviraptor weighed about 60 to 70 pounds (27 to 32 kilograms).


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