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Last year, I was able to spend some time with the type
Avimimus collection. Parts of three specimens are present. The illustrated
side of the skull (it is from the largest of the three individuals) lacks
major parts of the jugal and quadratojugal, making the animal look avian.
However, the other side shows a more normal theropod condition. Moving
on, the "carpometacarpus" is in fact portions of the quadrate, quadratojugal,
and a little bit of the jugal from a smaller individual. The famous ulnar
ridge is unfortunately unconvincing. Finally, aside from the two chunks
of bone previously identified as rt. and left ilia (which I don't understand
at all), the whole collections recalls a small set of juvenile Gallimimus
from the Mongolian State collection that I had a chance to study and
photograph a few years back. Of course, Gallimimus is recorded from
the same locality and facies as the type of Avimimus.
While it disappoints me, I see nothing distinctive
or odd about Avimimus portentosus Kurzanov 1981. It appears to be
nothing more than a junior synonym of Gallimimus bullatus Osmolska
et al 1972.
- Kraig Derstler