Gregory F. Funston, Philip J. Currie, David A. Eberth, Michael J. Ryan, Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig, Demchig Badamgarav & Nicholas R. Longrich (2016)
The first oviraptorosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) bonebed: evidence of gregarious behaviour in a maniraptoran theropod.
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 35782
A monodominant bonebed of Avimimus from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia is the first oviraptorosaur bonebed described and the only recorded maniraptoran bonebed from the Late Cretaceous. Cranial elements recovered from the bonebed provide insights on the anatomy of the facial region, which was formerly unknown in Avimimus. Both adult and subadult material was recovered from the bonebed, but small juveniles are underrepresented. The taphonomic and sedimentological evidence suggests that the Avimimus bonebed represents a perimortem gregarious assemblage. The near absence of juveniles in the bonebed may be evidence of a transient age-segregated herd or ‘flock’, but the behaviour responsible for this assemblage is unclear. Regardless, the Avimimus bonebed is the first evidence of gregarious behaviour in oviraptorosaurs, and highlights a potential trend of increasing gregariousness in dinosaurs towards the end of the Mesozoic.