Abstract

The holotype of Garudimimus brevipes, discovered from the Upper Cretaceous sediments of Mongolia and named by Barsbold in 1981, is redescribed in detail in this paper. Reexamination of the holotype reveals a great deal of anatomical information, which allows us to revise the original diagnosis of this taxon and make comparisons with other ornithomimosaur taxa to understand the evolution of ornithomimosaurs. This paper suggests that characters used to differentiate this taxon in the original paper (short ilia, short metatarsals, exposure of the proximal end of metatarsal III, presence of pedal digit I, and absence of pleurocoels) are not apomorphies but represent the primitive conditions in ornithomimosaurs and are symplesiomorphies. Revised diagnoses are assigned for G. brevipes (posteriorly positioned jaw articulation, fossae at base of dorsal process of supraoccipital, paired depressions on neural spines of proximal caudal vertebra, and deep groove on lateral surface of pedal phalanges and III-2). Metatarsals of Garudimimus display a non-arctometatarsalian condition as in an Early Cretaceous form, Harpymimus, but the constriction of metatarsal III in Garudimimus is intermediate between Harpymimus and the arctometatarsalian condition in Gallimimus and other derived ornithomimosaurs (ornithomimids). Garudimimus is the only non-ornithomimid ornithomimosaur with edentulous jaws, which were probably covered by rhamphothecae. The loss of teeth with evolution of rhamphothecae and development of a cutting edge in the dentary of Garudimimus suggest the acquisition of feeding habits that included plucking food at the anterior portion of the jaw and cutting at the middle portion, similar to ornithomimids.

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