Gallimimus is a very well-known dinosaur because so many of its fossils have been found. Fossils teach us about how this creature lived, what it ate and how it moved around. Gallimimus lived about 75 million years ago. Gallimimus was a funny-looking dinosaur. Its name means “chicken mimic”, and it really did look like a large chicken! Gallimimus was the largest of the ornithomimosaurs, a group of bird-like dinosaurs. It was about 15 feet long and six feet tall, which is much bigger than a chicken! It might have weighed about 970 pounds. It had a very long neck and tail. It had a long snout with large eyes, and a long, thin beak. It didn’t have any teeth. The lower jaw looked like a shovel. It had short arms with three clawed fingers on each hand. It also had claws on its three toes. Its hands were not very strong. Gallimimus probably used its hands for digging in the ground rather than grabbing things.
Gallimimus walked on two long, thin legs. It was one of the fastest dinosaurs ever, able to run about 40 mph. Its bones were hollow, like a bird’s, which made it light and agile. Its long tail was very useful to balance it while running. Gallimimus could also whip the tail around to make sharp turns. Gallimimus didn’t have any armor, spikes or frills to weigh it down. It was also a fairly intelligent dinosaur. It had a large space in its skull for a brain, and this is how paleontologists guess whether a dinosaur was intelligent. It did not have very good eyesight. It probably couldn’t see what was food and what wasn’t.
With its bottom jaw, Gallimimus would scoop up everything around it, including rocks, dirt and mud. It had to be quick in case a hunter was nearby. It used its arms to feel around for food. When it found another dinosaur’s eggs, it probably scooped them up with its hands and cracked them open with its hard beak. Gallimimus may have been an omnivore, meaning that it ate both plants and meat. It probably also ate small bugs, worms and lizards. Gallimimus lived in hot, dry places like deserts. Skeletons have been found in Mongolia, Asia. We don’t know whether Gallimimus lived alone or moved around in herds. The fossils that have been found are of single creatures.