1997 32¢ Ornithomimus
Issue Date: May 1, 1997
City: Grand Junction, CO
Printed By: Sterling Sommers for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 x 11.1
Watch an ostrich run, mentally change the feathers to small arms, and you might be watching an Ornithomimus (or-nith-uh-MY-mus) of the Cretaceous period.
Ornithomimus was a small dinosaur, although certainly not the smallest. He measured between 8 and 15 feet long, two thirds of which was neck and tail. He had a small head, a horny beak, and a toothless jaw. Nevertheless, he was an omnivore who ate fruit, small reptiles, insects, and the eggs of other dinosaurs.
With claws unsuited for defense or attack, survival depended on speed and intelligence. As for speed, Ornithomimus was the “road runner” of the dinosaur world, capable of reaching 35 miles per hour. Like all the fast-moving dinosaurs, his back legs and feet were long and slender. He ran on his hind legs alone with his long neck stretched forward and his tail stiffened for balancing.
Although his head was small, Ornithomimus had a large braincase and is considered one of the most intelligent dinosaurs. He needed every ounce of intelligence when robbing the nests of the multi-ton giants, especially those that maintained communal nurseries. Occasionally he tripped up and paid for it with his life.