Ornithomimus sketch by John Maisano One of the dinosaurs that made tracks in Zilker Garden almost 100 million years ago is classified as an Ornithomimus dinosaur, which is Greek for "bird like." Ornithomimus was a small to medium- sized theropod (two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus, and a distant cousin to the carnivorous Velociraptor. Ornithomimus looked far more aggressive than it likely was. Because ornithomimids had a beak-like jaw, rather than a tooth-filled mouth, some scientists think their best defense was not to fight but to run. They outdistanced most predators by sprinting at speeds of 65 miles per hour, or more. They probably ate small vertebrates, and may have eaten plant material as well.  In gait and stride the Ornithomimus would have appeared much like an ostrich or emu in motion. It stood about 8 feet tall and 13 feet long, had a larger brain (for its size) than most dinosaurs, and ate both plants and animals.


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