Physical appearance and biologyEdit
Ornithomimus followed the basic theropod body plan, with two powerful hind legs, and two shorter forearms. However, the arms and fingers of Ornithomimus were longer than those of other theropods. The neck was long and curved, like that of a therizinosaur or oviraptoran. Ornithomimus also had a hard yellow beak on its small head, with a rough, wrinkled interior specially evolved for sieving aquatic invertebrates from water, like the beak of a duck or goose.
The scales of Ornithomimus were grey to blue coloured, with a number of darker, mottled patches across the back and legs. Males of the species had darker blue heads and necks, and were larger than the females.
Baby Ornithomimus had more pronounced beaks, as well as a coat of wiry, brown and grey protofeathers, giving them a fuzzy appearance.
Behaviour and traitsEdit
Despite being theropods, Ornithomimus are far from being obligate carnivores or vicious predators. They are generalists, eating whatever presents itself; insects; marine invertebrates; leaves and plants; and even carrion.Ornithomimus are herd-dwelling animals, living in large groups, called "flocks", of around thirteen individuals. Males, females, and youngsters all lived together, and the only time an individual would be seperate from its flock is when pregnant females become broody. With no other form of defence, Ornithomimus rely on their speed and sheer numbers to escape predators, such as Tyrannosaurus.
As social prey animals, Ornithomimus are wary, and prone to stampeding. Whilst the others are feeding, one individual will act as a "sentry", keeping an eye out for predators.
Mother Ornithomimus have strong bonds with their offspring, although they will typically abandon any eggs which roll out of the nest. Babies imprint on their mothers from an early age, copying them, to learn how to survive.
A flock of Ornithomimus are the first dinosaurs encountered by Nigel Marven in the Late Cretaceous, only a few days before the Cretaceous mass extinction. Nigel uses his sock to catch one of them, but is forced to release it when a group of Tyrannosaurus' show up.
Later on, the Ornithomimus flock is chased through the mountains by a wounded female Tyrannosaurus. The Tyrannosaurus catches and kills one, whilst the rest of the flock runs through the time portal set up by Nigel, and into Prehistoric Park, in the present day. The flock stampedes through the portal site until Head Keeper Bob transports them to a newly-built paddock. Initially panic-struck, they soon settle in to their new home, with Bob giving them ostrich feed.
The Ornithomimus flock soon become unhappy with their new home. Bob recognises the similarities between their beaks and the beaks of ducks or geese, and decides to build a pond into the paddock. The Ornithomimus use the pond to filter-feed for marine invertebrates, and become happy once again. He also adds a shed near the pond, to keep an eye on the flock.
From the hide he built near the pond, Bob soon notices one of the female Ornithomimus beginning to act strangely, avoiding the others and hiding in the undergrowth. Recognising the behaviour, Nigel suspects that she is pregnant, and is getting broody. Head Vet Suzanne gives her an ultrasound, and confirms that she is pregnant. She lays her clutch of eggs later on, and builds a dirt nest for them.
Two of the mother Ornithomimus's eggs eventually roll out of the nest and into the grass; she leaves them there as "sacrificial eggs" for predators, and does not attempt to incubate them. Suzanne is forced to take these two eggs and give them to Bob for incubation.
The eggs left in the nest eventually hatch, and are visited by Nigel and Suzanne, who liken the babies to small birds like partridges or grouse. Bob's eggs do not hatch; Suzanne believes that they were rescued too late and have died, but Bob refuses to give up.
Finally, Bob decides the raise the temperature on his incubator. This allows the two baby Ornithomimus to hatch out of their eggs. The pair imprint on him, believing him to be their mother, and follow him everywhere - even into T-Rex Hill, where they are swiftly scared off by an angry Matilda.
Bob eventually returns his two chicks to the Ornithomimus paddock, prompting them to bite him in anger.
During the mass breakout, a titanosaur breaks down the fences to the Ornithomimus paddock, allowing the flock to escape out into the park. Bob attempts to round them up, but is surprised by Matilda the Tyrannosaurus, causing the Ornithomimus to stampede. After Matilda was contained, the flock was captured and returned to their paddock.