Dinosaurs in Their Time

Field Guide to the Oviraptorosaur

Geography & Distribution

Dozens of oviraptorosaur specimens have been found in Asia, particularly in Mongolia and China. On the other hand, decades of searching for these dinosaurs on other continents were almost fruitless, until the fall of 1998, when two skeletons of the new oviraptorosaur were discovered only 165 feet (50 meters) apart in the fossil-rich Hell Creek badlands of northwestern South Dakota. Carnegie Museum of Natural History's new skeletons are the most complete oviraptorosaur specimens known outside of Asia, and firmly establish the presence of this group in western North America. But how can this be? How can oviraptorosaurs, which were land-dwelling animals (and probably poor swimmers), be found on two continents that today are separated by the Pacific Ocean? Further research will help us understand these questions.

Europe and Asia in the Late Cretaceous
The majority of oviraptorosaurs, including Oviraptor, are from this general location.


North and South America in the Late Cretaceous
Discovery site of the new Carnegie Museum of Natural History oviraptorosaur.


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