Oviraptorosauria is a clade of bipedal theropods dinosaur, closely related to both maniraptora and birds. This name comes from latin, and means egg thief lizards (from "ovis" and "raptor" + the greek term for lizard).
Oviraptorids fossils have been found in USA, and mostly Eastern Asia. They also lived during the Cretaceous Era.
Oviraptorids were small to medium-sized dinosaurs.
Oviraptorids were also very unusual theropods, as they had short trunks, long legs, relatively short tails, and three digitatet hands with long claws. However, their more unique features were in the head and neck zone, as they had long, S-shaped necks, and very shorth heads, with large eyes and beaks with only two or no teeth. Furthermore, some genus had a crest in the top of their head.
The members of this family had feathers, as clear evidences of feathers have been found on their fossils and skeletons. Most precisely, four species of primitive oviraptorosaurs (in the genera Caudypteryx, Protoarchaeopteryx, and Similicaudipteryx) have been found with impressions of well developed feathers, most notably on the wings and tail, suggesting that they functioned at least partially for display.
Secondly, at least four oviraptorosaur genera (Nomingia, Similicaudipteryx, Citipati, and Conchoraptor) preserved tails ending in something like a pygostyle, a bony structure at the end of the tail that, in modern birds, is used to support a fan of feathers. Similarly, quill knobs (anchor points for wing feathers on the ulna) have been reported in the oviraptorosaurian species Avimimus.
Additionally, a number of oviraptorid specimens have famously been discovered in a nesting position similar to that of modern birds. The arms of these specimens are positioned in such a way that they could perfectly cover their eggs if they had small wings and a substantial covering of feathers.
Oviraptorid's diet is controversary, and not fully know. For example, it was initially thought that they ate eggs, considering the genus Oviraptor found near a nest, thought to be a Protoceratosaurus's nest. It was then confirmed that the nest was actually the Oviraptor's nest.
However, now Oviraptorids are considered to have different diets: some herbivorous, some carnivorous, and some omnivorous, eating either plants and animals such as vertebrates and mollusks.
- Incisivosaurus gauthieri;
- Protoarchaeopteryx robusta:
- Avimimus portentosus;
- Caenagnathus pergracilis;
- Caudipteryx sp.
- Gigantoraptor erlianensis;
- Microvenator celor;
- Oviraptor philoceratops;
- Citipati osmolkae;
- Rinchenia mongoliensis;
- Chirostenotes pergracilis;
- Elmisaurus rarus;
- Hagryphus giganteus;
- Ingenia yanshini;
- Heyuannia huangi;
- Conchoraptor gracilis;
- Khaan mckennai.