Oviraptor is a genus of small Mongolian theropod dinosaurs, first discovered by technician George Olsen in an expedition led by Roy Chapman Andrews, and first described by Henry Fairfield Osborn, in 1924. Oviraptor lived in the late Cretaceous period, during the late Campanian stage about 75 million years ago.
Oviraptor was one of the most bird-like of the non-avian dinosaurs. Its rib cage, in particular, displayed several features that are typical of birds, including a set of processes on each rib that would have kept the rib cage rigid. Oviraptor is traditionally depicted with a distinctive crest, similar to that of the cassowary. However, re-examination of several oviraptorids show that this well-known, tall-crested species may actually belong to the genus Citipati, a relative of Oviraptor. It is likely that Oviraptor did have a crest, but its exact size and shape are unknown due to crushing in the skull of the only recognized specimen.
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- Pronounced: OH-vee-RAP-tor
- Meaning of name: egg thief
- Length: 2m
- Weight: 20kg – 30kg
- Teeth: beak, no teeth
- Diet: omnivorous
- Food: hard fruits, eggs, and possibly shellfish
- How it moved: on 2 legs
- When it lived: Late Cretaceous (85 – 75 million years ago)
- Found in: Mongolia
- Taxonomy: Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Neotherapoda, Tetanurae, Avetherapoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Oviraptorosauria, Caenagnathoidea, Oviraptoridae, Oviraptorinae, Oviraptor
- Named by: Osborn (1924)
- Type species: philoceratops