Kinnareemimus is one of the most mysterious dinosaur genera ever found in Thailand in Southeast Asia. The fossil remains of its partial skeleton were found from the Sao Khua Formation, in the Phu Wiang locality, in the Khon Kaen Province of northeast Thailand. These remains included some of its vertebrae, pubic bones, an incomplete fibula, and its metatarsals, which are a group of five bones in the foot. This genus was first described by Eric Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn, and Haiyan Tong in their paper in 2009, and it consists of a single species, Kinnareemimus khonkaenensis, which is also the type species.
Research by E. Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn, and H. Tong concluded that those remains belonged to an ornithomimosaur. Ornithomimosaurs are theropod dinosaurs that are also known as ostrich dinosaurs because as they are thought to resemble modern-day ostriches. The deposits in the Sao Khua Formation in the Phu Wiang locality of the Khon Kaen Province have been dated back to the Barremian age of the Early Cretaceous period, which would make it one of the earliest ornithomimosaurs found in Asia, as well as the world. This is because most ornithomimosaur remains that have been found have been dated back to the Late Cretaceous. This dinosaur was named by Eric Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn, and Haiyan Tong as a reference to Kinnaree, which is described as a 'graceful beings of the Thai mythology'. These creatures from Thai mythology had the body of a woman but the legs of a bird, and the Kinnareemimus would have also had bird-like feet. Thus, the name translates to 'Kinnaree mimic'.
Kinnareemimus, meaning 'Kinnaree mimic', was named by E. Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn, and H. Tong in 2009, and the name is phonetically pronounced as 'Kin-na-ree-mime-us'.
This dinosaur was a type of theropod and was considered by E. Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn and H. Tong in their paper to have been a member of the clade Ornithomimosauria from the Early Cretaceous. Ornithomimosaurs are characterized by small-sized skulls, and long and slender necks and forelimbs. These dinosaurs are thought to have been fast because of their strong and slender hind legs, and most of them would have been covered with feathers, thus making them look like a modern-day ostrich. They have only been found in the continents of Asia, Europe, and North America yet, and many of them have been dated back to the Late Cretaceous, making Kinnareemimus one of the early ostrich dinosaur species. Other dinosaurs belonging to Ornithomimosauria from the Early Cretaceous period include Pelecanimimus from the Barremian age of the Early Cretaceous. Pelecanimimus is said to have had more than 200 teeth, which is more than any other similar dinosaur.
Kinnareemimus may have been one of the earliest, if not the earliest member of Ornithomimosaur from the Early Cretaceous. It would have been from the Valanginian to the Barremian or Aptian ages of the Early Cretaceous, which is millions of years before most ornithomimosaurs are thought to have existed.
Since most ostrich dinosaurs lived during the Late and Early Cretaceous periods, it is likely that all of them went extinct in the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that occurred at the end of the Late Cretaceous period.
This early ostrich dinosaur would have lived during the Early Cretaceous period in what is now known as Thailand in Asia. Its remains, including its vertebrae, pubic bones, and metatarsals, have been found in the Sao Khua Formation in the Khon Kaen Province of Thailand.
Research on the deposits in the Sao Khua Formation has shown that the region would have been a floodplain with an extensive river system. Thus, this ostrich dinosaur would have lived in a floodplain habitat.
Ornithomimosaurs are known to have been quite gregarious animals, evident from the bonebeds found of multiple specimens of other ornithomimosaur species. Thus, it would be safe to assume that this dinosaur, too, would have lived in groups, either to find food sources, nesting sites or to be better protected against predators. They could have also coexisted with other ornithomimosaurs that lived in the modern-day Sao Khua Formation in Thailand during the Early Cretaceous.
Due to a lack of evidence and research, the lifespan of a Kinnareemimus khonkaenensis is not currently known.
These dinosaurs would have been oviparous, which means that they would have laid eggs from which their young ones emerged.
Kinnareemimus, meaning 'Kinnaree mimic', was an early ostrich dinosaur of medium length, and is only known from a few remains of its partial skeleton, including some of its vertebrae, an incomplete fibula, metatarsals, and incomplete pubic bones that were found in Thailand. Although it is hard to describe its exact appearance because of a lack of fossil remains, it is likely that it would have looked similar to other members of Ornithomimosauria from the Early or Late Cretaceous. It would have been covered with feathers, had a long neck, and may have had a small jaw with tiny teeth, as opposed to the toothless beaks that later ornithomimosaur animals possessed. All its limbs would be slender, with the hind limbs longer than the fore limbs as it was a bipedal animal.
It is not currently possible to know the number of bones this ostrich dinosaur had as not many of its fossils have been recovered yet.
It is unclear how these animals would have communicated with each other. However, it is said that ornithomimosaur dinosaurs used their feathers to impress the opposite sex.
The body length of a Kinnareemimus is roughly estimated to have been 9.8 ft (3 m). This is similar to the length of Pelecanimimus, another member of Ornithomimosauria from the Early Cretaceous.
Dinosaurs belonging to Ornithomimosauria could have run at an estimated speed of 43 mph (70 kph).
The weight range of Kinnareemimus has not been estimated due to a lack of research.
There were no special names for the males and females of this species.
A baby Kinnareemimus would have been called a hatchling.
These Thai animals were omnivores and would have fed on plant material as well as smaller animals. However, they may have been preyed upon by bigger animals like the Siamosaurus, which was also found in the Sao Khua Formation in Thailand, and would have lived during the Barremian age of the Early Cretaceous.
This early ostrich dinosaur may have been aggressive towards other species but would have been tolerant of their own kind.
The specific name of the type species, Kinnareemimus khonkaenensis, was given by E. Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn, and H. Tong, and is a reference to the province of Khon Kaen. This is because the remains of this ostrich dinosaur were first found in Phu Wiang, in the Sao Khua Formation, which lies in the Khon Kaen Province of Thailand. The genus name means 'Kinnaree mimic', and is a reference to the Kinnaree, which is a creature in Thai mythology that has the body of a woman but the legs of a bird.
The few fossil remains of this dinosaur that were found included its vertebrae, metatarsals, an incomplete fibula, and partial pubis bones. The metatarsals are bones found in the feet, and in Kinnareemimus, they were noted by E. Buffetaut, V. Suteethorn, and H. Tong to have been pinched. This is often seen in dinosaurs like ornithomimosaurs, tyrannosauroids, and troodontids. These bones were also found to have a triangular cross-section.
Yes, Kinnareemimus khonkaenensis belonged to the clade Theropoda and was a member of the group Ornithomimosauria.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Nemegtosaurus facts and Denversaurus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Kinnareemimus coloring pages.
Image one by http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147031
Image two by PePeEfe