North America, Cretaceous period, approximately 75 million years ago. A fossilized claw from an Ornithomimus dinosaur, a feathered, winged dinosaur said to have resembled an ostrich recovered from the Cretaceous deposits of North America, that has provided new insights into dinosaur plumage as well as the origin of the avian wing. This fossilized claw from an ornithomimus - which literally means "bird mimic" - is incredibly rare! Size: 3.875" L x 1.125" H (9.8 cm x 2.9 cm); 2.2" H (5.6 cm) on included custom stand.
Interestingly, paleontologists have discovered evidence of wings on dinosaurs that were too large to actually fly; hence these wings were not used for flight. Recent research led by paleontologists Darla Zelenitsky (University of Calgary) and Francois Therrien (Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology) discusses the first ornithomimid feathered dinosaur specimens recovered from 75 million-year-old rocks in southern Alberta, Canada. These were the first feathered dinosaurs discovered in the Western Hemisphere. According to Therrien, “The fact that wing-like forelimbs developed in more mature individuals suggests they were used only later in life, perhaps associated with reproductive behaviors like display or egg brooding.” (Zelenitsky, Therrien, Erickson, DeBuhr, Kobayashi, Eberth & Hadfield. 2012. Feathered Non-Avian Dinosaurs from North America Provide Insight into Wing Origins. Science)
Ornithomimus was approximately 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) long. The name ornithomimus means “bird mimic” and this dinosaur is said to have resembled an ostrich given its long legs and feet as well as its long neck and toothless beak. Scholars also believe that its plumage pattern resembled that of an ostrich, suggesting that its feathers helped to regulate its temperature. It also had one rather unusual feature for dinosaurs – its three fingers were all about the same length.
Provenance: ex private Hagar collection, Wildwood, Missouri, USA
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Repaired from two large pieces roughly at the midline with some visible adhesive. Minute nicks to pointed tip. Fossilized with expected age wear. Otherwise very nice and incredibly rare. Small perforation for attaching to stand. Collection label attached to wider end.