A giant ornithomimosaur from the early cretaceous of China

Peter J. Makovicky, Daqing Li, Ke Qin Gao, Matthew Lewin, Gregory M. Erickson, Mark A. Norell

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Ornithomimosaurs (ostrich-mimic dinosaurs) are a common element of some Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages of Asia and North America. Here, we describe a new species of ornithomimosaur, Beishanlong grandis, from an associated, partial postcranial skeleton from the Aptian-Albian Xinminpu Group of northern Gansu, China. Beishanlong is similar to another Aptian-Albian ornithomimosaur, Harpymimus, with which it shares a phylogenetic position as more derived than the Barremian Shenzhousaurus and as sister to a Late Cretaceous clade composed of Garudimimus and the Ornithomimidae. Beishanlong is one of the largest definitive ornithomimosaurs yet described, though histological analysis shows that the holotype individual was still growing at its death. Together with the co-eval and sympatric therizinosaur Suzhousaurus and the oviraptorosaur Gigantraptor, Beishanlong provides evidence for the parallel evolution of gigantism in separate lineages of beaked and possibly herbivorous coelurosaurs within a short time span in Central Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1679
StatePublished - Jan 22 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Body-size evolution
  • Central asia
  • Cretaceous
  • Faunal assemblage
  • Ornithomimosauria
  • Phylogeny


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