Named By: A. Perle, M. A. Norell, L. M. Chiappe & J. M. Clark - 1993.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, theropoda, Alvarezsauridae, Mononykini.
Species: M. olecranus (type.).
Size: Estimated about 1 meter long.
Known locations: Mongolia - Nemegt Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial anterior skeleton lacking the tail, partial skull bones.
has a close relationship with another genus of alvarezsaur
in that many of the fossils once attributed to Mononykus
olecranus were found to be of a distinct genus, and these
to their own genus named Shuvuuia. Hence many of
reconstruction and information resources about Mononykus
referencing fossil remains that now belong to Shuvuuia.
On a quick
side note, Mononykus was also originally named as
it was quickly realised that this name was pre-occupied by a genus of
beetle, hence the spelling change to Mononykus.
The name Mononykus is a reference to the enlarged thumb claw that in the holotype specimen of Mononykus is seven and a half centimetres long. Although not known for certain for Mononykus, relative genera like Shuvuuia have been proven to have had at least a primitive feather covering over their bodies, and it’s plausible that Mononykus may have also had this covering.
Potential threats to Mononykus may include dromaeosaurids like Adasaurus, and troodonts like Zanabazar.
- Correction: Flightless bird from the Cretaceous of Mongolia. - Nature 363:188 - A. Perle, M. A. Norell, L. M. Chiappe & J. M. Clark - 1993.
- The skull of a relative of the stem-group bird Mononykus. - Nature, 392: 275–278. - Chiappe, Norell & Clarke - 1998.
- Beta-keratin specific immunological reactivity in feather-like structures of the Cretaceous alvarezsaurid, Shuvuuia deserti. - Journal of Experimental Zoology (Mol Dev Evol), 285: 146-157. - M. H. Schweitzer, J.A. Watt, R. Avci, L. Knapp, L. Chiappe, M. Norell & M. Marshall - 1999.
- Function in the stunted forelimbs of Mononykus olecranus (Theropoda), a dinosaurian anteater. - Paleobiology Vol. 31, No. 3 pp. 373–381.- P. Senter - 2005.