An ostrich-like lifestyle

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There's not long left before Age of the Dinosaur closes on 15 April at World Museum. Before it finishes we have one more blog by dino-expert Geoff Tresise. This blog tells us about about the Gallimimus.

A dinosaur's teeth give valuable clues as to its diet and hence its lifestyle.  Predators have pointed biting teeth whereas herbivores have flatter teeth for grinding vegetation. 

However dinosaurs such as Gallimimus from Mongolia and Struthiomimus from North America had no teeth at all.  What did they eat and how did they live?  The fact that their bodies were very like those of ostriches provides a clue.

Gallimimus, the ostrich-like dinosaur seen in 'Age of the Dinosaur', lived in the late Cretaceous period.  It had strong hind-legs and stood about 2 metres tall with a long neck and small head.  It must have been a powerful runner.  Fast-running animals today (like antelopes and cheetahs as well as ostriches) live on grasslands but in the dinosaurs' day there was no grass and so no grasslands. 

Gallimimus lived in a semi-arid landscape with only scattered vegetation. In this environment the Gallimimus diet might include fruit and seeds, insects, lizards and dinosaur eggs.  Even baby dinosaurs may have been on the menu.  If food was scarce, an opportunistic dinosaur would be likely to snap up anything edible.

yellow animatronic dinosaur

The Gallimimus stands tall in the exhibtition.