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005

Pelecanimimus polyodon

OLogy Series
extinct animal
card
005

Pelecanimimus polyodon

OLogy Series
extinct animal

This theropod belonged to a group called ornithomimids, also called "ostrich-mimics." Most of these dinosaurs were toothless. But Pelecanimimus had about 220 teeth, the most of ANY theropod. Talk about a flossing nightmare!

The word "polyodon," in the species name, means:

parrot-like

many teeth

square head

Are you right?

Correct!

This is the most well-known feature of Pelecanimimus.

Pelecanimimus means "pelican mimic." This name was chosen because this fossil:

was found with a bellyful of fish

had webbed feet

appeared to show a pelican-like throat pouch

Are you right?

Correct!

Scientists originally thought the fossil showed skin impressions of a throat pouch. Some scientists today aren't sure of this.

Everything scientists know about Pelecanimimus is based on just the front half of its skeleton.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

The only Pelecanimimus specimen is incomplete. Scientists base its full appearance on complete skeletons of other ornithomimids.

Only one fossil of this dinosaur has ever been found.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Like many dinosaurs, Pelecanimimus is known from a single specimen.

Scientific Name: Pelecanimimus polyodon 
Pronunciation: pel-ih-can-nih-MY-muss PAH-lee-uh-don
Meaning: "pelican mimic"
Locality Found: Las Hoyas, Cuenca, Spain
Age: Early Cretaceous, 125 million years ago
Size: 1.8 to 2.1 meters (6 to 7 feet) long
Characteristics: Pelecanimimus had approximately 220 teeth, which is more than any other theropod.

Image credits: Rick Spears.