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CITIPATI

Citipati

Build & Characteristics

  • Citipati measured 9 feet (3 meters) long and weighed up 183 pounds. The same size as modern Emus.
  • A main characteristic of the Citipati was its resemblance to modern birds.
  • The upper and lower jaw of Citipati was toothless and had developed into a beak like structure.
  • The Citipati resembled modern Omnivorous birds of today. They had many feathers that assisted them in their nesting behavior.

History

  • Citipati roamed what is modern day Mongolia and most of Asia during the Late Cretaceous period 81-75 million years ago.
  • The environment looked much like a desert with dunes and an occasional oasis and brook.
  • It is unknown whether the Citipati shared the parenting of the young, however scientists theorize they may have split the duties much like modern day male Ostriches and Emus.
  • Citipati fossils have been found sitting upon their nests while using their feather covered arms to encircle the perimeter and protect their young from weather and other dangers of the time.
  • The Citipati was an omnivore and feasted on insects and small reptiles.

Discovery

  • The first specimen of Citipati was found in 1995 by scientists from the museum and Mongolian Academy of Sciences.
  • The Citipati was a good example of how modern day birds evolved from dinosaurs.
  • The name originated from the Sanskrit words “citi” meaning “funeral pyre” and “pati” meaning “lord” in reference to the lord of cemeteries in Tibetan Buddhism folklore.