If a dinosaur looks like a bird, moves like a bird, and acts like a bird, is it a bird? Not necessarily.


Fun Facts

  • The Struthiomimus looked a lot like a modern ostrich. It had a small head, a long, thin neck, short arms, and powerful legs. It had a small, toothless beak and it probably had feathers.
  • But in spite of these similarities, modern ostriches and other birds did not evolve from Struthiomimus. They are two completely different animals.
  • This is called convergent evolution. Two unrelated species of animals develop similar traits based on their environments. Modern examples include hedgehogs and porcupines or fish and whales.
  • Struthiomimus lived during the Late Cretaceous period, about 75 million to 66 million years ago. Birds were already on the planet living alongside this dinosaur.
  • This dinosaur lived in the western United States and Alberta, Canada.
  • It was probably one of the fastest runners of its day. Although it wasn’t related to ostriches, it does have a similar build. Modern ostriches can run between 30 and 50 miles per hour. Scientists think Struthiomimus was probably just as fast.
  • This dinosaur was 14 feet long.
  • Scientists aren’t sure what it ate. Its arms were short and its claws were all the same length. It had a small mouth and teeth so it probably didn’t eat large prey. It might have eaten a combination of plants and small animals or insects.


Questions and Answers

Question: What does Struthiomimus mean?

Answer: Struthiomimus means “ostrich mimic” in Latin.


Learn More

Watch a video about Struthiomimus.