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Re: How to Build a Dinosaur

Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> If Gallamimus was a 'chicken mimic', wouldn't that make a
> chicken mimicking a non-avian dinosaur 
> a Gallamimomimus (Chicken mimic mimic)?


_Gallimimus_ was named because the anterior cervical vertebrae resembled those 
of gallinaceous birds.  So in actual fact _Gallimimus_ wasn't all that 
'chicken-like'; only one particular anatomical feature invited comparison with 
a modern bird, rather than the entire morphology.  (The same rationale was 
behind the name _Pelecanimimus_, and _Ornithomimus_ to a degree).

But you raise a good point, Dann.  Those modern birds that look like extinct 
theropods (or other archosaurs) are just johnny-come-latelies.  Fossil forms 
that show an uncanny resemblance to modern long-legged ratites (ornithomimids, 
shuvosaurs, and... maybe another) were around long before the ratites.  So 
who's the real "mimic", eh?