Harpymimus (Harpy mimic)
Barsbold & Perle & 1984
Estimated 2.5 meters long
H. okladnikovi (type)
Mongolia – Khuren Dhuk Formation
Late Cretaceous, 70 million years ago
Harpymimus, meaning “harpy mimic,” is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago. It is known from fossils found in what is now Mongolia.
Harpymimus was a small, lightly-built dinosaur, measuring around 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length and weighing around 50 kilograms (110 pounds). It is classified as a member of the ornithomimid family, which were fast-running, bipedal dinosaurs that were adapted for a herbivorous or omnivorous diet.
Like other ornithomimids, Harpymimus had a toothless beak and long, slender limbs that were adapted for running. It likely fed on a variety of plants and small animals, including insects and small vertebrates.
Harpymimus is known from several partial skeletons, including one nearly complete specimen, which has provided valuable insights into the anatomy and behavior of this dinosaur. Its fossils suggest that it may have been able to move its arms and hands in a manner similar to modern birds, and may have been capable of using its hands for grasping or manipulating objects.
The name Harpymimus refers to the harpy eagle, a bird of prey known for its speed and agility, which is thought to have been a possible inspiration for the dinosaur’s name. Despite its small size and relatively modest appearance, Harpymimus was an important part of Late Cretaceous ecosystems, and its fossils help to shed light on the diversity and ecology of this fascinating group of dinosaurs.