Colorado dinosaur discovery – Ornithomimus

Ornithomimus skeleton for ostrich-like dinosaur
An Ornithomimus skeleton in a death pose is displayed at Canada’s Royal Tyrrell Museum. The ostrich-like dinosaur was first discovered in Lakewood. | Photo by Sebastian Bergmann /


A foot and a partial hand from an Ornithomimus was found in 1889 by George Cannon Jr. in sandstone off Morrison Road, southeast of today’s Carmody Park in Lakewood. Cannon was a student of Golden schoolteacher and amateur paleontologist Arthur Lakes, who is responsible for several key dinosaur finds near Golden.

Paleontologist Othniel Marsh named and described the ostrich-like dinosaur in 1890.

The Ornithomimus just dates back to the Cretaceous period about 100 million years ago.

The Ornithomimus was able to run swiftly on two long legs with feet that had three weight-bearing toes, and it had long, slender arms with sloth-like hands that may have allowed it to grab branches while eating plants. It resembled a bird with its long neck, elongated skull and toothless beak.

The sizes of the skeletons recovered over the years suggest that the dinosaurs range from 12 1/2 to nearly 16 feet in length and from 370 to 770 pounds.