Fun Harpymimus Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
Nov 10, 2022 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
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Read more fun and interesting Harpymimus facts here.

Harpymimus is a primitive genus of ornithomimosaurian theropod species of the Early Cretaceous period (present Mongolia) of the family Harpymimidae. Harpymimus possessed teeth, unlike more derived ornithomimosaurs, although Harpymimus seem to have limited to the dentary of the lower jaw.

A Soviet-Mongolian expedition in 1981 recovered a skeleton of theropod in the Gobi Desert.

Altangerel Perle and Rinchen Barsbold shortly described and named this skeleton in 1984 as the only and type species of this new genus (Harpymimus) as Harpymimus okladnikovi. The genus name Harpymimus refers to Greek mythology's fearsome Harpy, a derivation of Greek harpiya meaning, 'Harpy' and mimos meaning 'mimic.'

The specific name okladnikovi honors Alexey Pavlovich Okladnikav, a late Soviet archeologist.

The Harpymimus okladnikovi holotype specimen is named IGM 100/29, which was recovered with almost the whole skeleton but lacked pelvic girdle, hindlimbs, and pectoral girdle. This skeleton was recovered from the Shinekhudag formation (presently part of Khuren Dukh Formation) in the Dundgovi Aimag in the East Gobi Province, dating back to Mid-Late Albian.

If these facts about the Harpymimus okladnikovi were interesting, then you need to check out these cool facts about the Segisaurus and Neimongosaurus.

Harpymimus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Harpymimus'?

The pronunciation of Harpymimus is 'Har-pee-MIEM-us.'

What type of dinosaur was a Harpymimus?

Harpymimus okladnikovi (Barsbold and Perle) is a primitive ornithomimosaur within the clade Theropoda. This dinosaur mimics birds or is also called ostrich dinosaur.

The diet changed from meat to plants as they evolved and ornithomimosaurs went on to lose almost all their teeth and it was inferred that they were primary herbivores. This species had a gregarious lifestyle.

Harpymimus is been more than Pelecanimimus polyodon. As per researchers, the analysis of Harpymimus fossils supported that the origins of ornithomimosaurs either occupied Europe or eastern Asia before the Barremain stage of Early Cretaceous then shifted to North America at some time in the Late Cretaceous.

In which geological period did the Harpymimus roam the earth?

Harpymimus okladnikovi (Barsbold and Perle) from the Early cretaceous period in present Mongolia around 107-100 million years ago.

When did Harpymimus become extinct?

Harpymimus (meaning, Harpy-mimic) might have gone extinct in the mass extinction of the Cretaceous-Paleogene period around 60 million years ago.

Where did Harpymimus live?

Harpymimus (meaning, Harpy-mimic) of the early cretaceous occupied present Mongolia (Khuren Dukh Formation).

What was the Harpymimus habitat?

Harpymimus (Harpy-mimic) of the early cretaceous preferred ancient plains and lowlands.

Who did Harpymimus live with?

Harpymimus (Harpy-mimic) of the early cretaceous might have lived in groups like all the other species of dinosaurs.

How long did Harpymimus live?

The average lifespan of Harpymimus (Harpy-mimic) of the family Harpymimidae is not yet known.

How did they reproduce?

The reproduction of this ornithomimosaur is oviparous. The breeding process and incubation period of this species are not known.

Harpymimus Fun Facts

What did Harpymimus look like?

These dinosaurs of (dinosauria) Theropoda of Mongolia were extensively described for the first time in 2004 by Yoshitsugu Kobayashi.

Kobayashi and Barsbold diagnosed this species based on the anatomy of Harpymimus okladnikovi that includes the transition between the posterior and anterior tail vertebrae at the eighteenth caudal, eleventh teeth in front of the lower jaw, a depression (triangle shaped) on top of the dorsal surface of a ridge on the shoulder blade (above shoulder joint), a small and deep collateral ligament fossa on metacarpal III's lateral condyle, and a low ridge on top of the depression across the back edge of the shoulder blade.

The type specimen's skull is virtually complete, however, badly crushed, clouding some details about the anatomy of Harpymimus okladnikovi.

There is evidence proving that the beak covers the upper jaw, in accord with the dentary teeth, and is probably used to grasp and hold their food.

The teeth of Harpymimus can be differentiated from the teeth of Pelecanimimus polyodon, a primitive ornithomimosaur, by the cylindrical shape of teeth, restricted to the dentary, and separated by interdental plates. Also, in the lower jaw of Pelecanimimus Polyodon had 75 dentary teeth, and on the upper jaw 37 additional teeth.

Unlike most of the theropods using their teeth to pierce or cut their prey, Harpymimus's teeth allow them to grab and hold their food.

Some other traits of these ornithomimosaurs are third metatarsal and short first metacarpal in the hand.

Only Pelecanimimus and Harpymimus retained teeth unlike other ornithomimosaurs, a feature that is basal for ornithomimosauria clade.

Harpymimus dinosaurs were small yet fast had keen senses.
*Please note that this is an image of an Ornithomimidae dinosaur. If you have an image of a Harpymimus please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did a Harpymimus have?

The exact number of bones in these ornithomimosaurs of Mongolia is not yet known.

How did they communicate?

These ornithomimosaurs of the family Harpymimidae would have communicated through calls and songs like other dinosaurs.

How big was Harpymimus?

Harpymimus size range is 11.5 ft (3.5 m) in length. The height of Harpymimus okladnikoviis around 6 ft (1.8 m). Spinosaurus were almost four to five times the length of Harpymimus. The skull length is about 10.3 in (262 mm) and their neck was around 23.6 in (600 mm) in length.

How fast could a Harpymimus move?

It is not yet known how fast this ornithomimosaur of the family Harpymimidae could move.

How much did a Harpymimus weigh?

This ornithomimosaur of Mongolia weighs around 275 lb (125 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to these male and female dinosaurs of the family Harpymimidae.

What would you call a baby Harpymimus?

There is no specific term given to these baby dinosaurs.

What did they eat?

Harpymimus diet was omnivorous. Their diet evolved from meat-eating to plants. So, their diet would have been small dinosaurs and ancient creatures to plants and leaves.

How aggressive were they?

It is not known how aggressive these dinosaurs of the Cretaceous were.

Did you know...

Some of the basal dinosaurs of ornithomimosauria are Hexing, Deinocheirus, Nqwebasaurus, Shenzhousaurus, and Pelecanimimus. Few paleontologists consider the Alvarezsaurid dinosaurs to be closest relatives to ornithomimosaurias.

Most of ornithomimosaurs probably got received calories from plants. Henry Fairfield Osborn indicated that ornithomimosaurs' elongated sloth-looking arms might have allowed them to pull down branches to feed on. These abundant creatures of their time were plant eaters and probably outnumbered the meat-eating population.

Ornithomimosaurs are classified in the group Maniraptoriformes with Maniraptora and Fukuivenator. This group of dinosaurs has wings and pennaceous feathers. Thomas Haltz named this group defining them as 'the most recent common ancestor of Ornithomimus and birds, and all descendants of that common ancestor.

Harpymimus is the only genus with the Harpymimidae family.

Charles W. Gilmore reported one of the first findings of ornithomimosaurs' bonebeds in 1993 from Iren Dabasu Formation. There were adult and young remains of numerous Archaeornithomimus in the bonebeds.

Why are they called Harpymimus?

These dinosaurs (dinosauria) theropoda of Mongolia are named Harpymimus in reference to the Greek mythology's fearsome Harpy, a derivation of Greek harpiya translates to, 'Harpy' and mimos translates to 'mimic.'

Who discovered Harpymimus?

Harpymimus dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period were discovered by the Soviet-Mongolian expedition in the Gobi desert in 1981 and later described in 1984.

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 Shanag facts and Quilmesaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Harpymimus coloring pages.

Please note that this is an image of a Gallimius dinosaur. If you have an image of a Harpymimus please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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