The Ultimate Footrace

"The Ultimate Footrace"
Acrylic on acetate

Image Use

Publication History


The ostrich is the largest living bird, standing more than eight feet tall and tipping the scales at over 300 pounds. It can't fly, but it can run at speeds greater than 40 miles per hour. That makes it not only the swiftest earthbound bird, but the fastest two-legged animal alive today.

Millions of years ago a fleet-footed dinosaur named Ornithomimus held the title of "The Fastest Animal on Earth". The skeleton of this long-necked, long-legged reptile bears a striking resemblance to that of its distant cousin, the ostrich. Ornithomimus had hollow bones (like a bird) and a toothless beak (also like a bird). Even its name means "bird mimic". Many paleontologists think Ornithomimus was as fast as an ostrich. We can only imagine which of these champion sprinters would would have won the Ultimate Footrace!

Vital Statistics

  • Genus Name: Ornithomimus ("bird mimic")
  • Type Species: * O. velox (Marsh, 1890)
  • Length: 8-12 feet (2.5-4 meters)
  • Weight: 250 to 400 pounds
  • Time: 76-65 million years ago (Late Cretaceous)
  • Place: Colorado, Utah (USA) and Alberta (Canada)
  • Diet: meat and plant-eater (omnivore)

All images are protected by copyright. Permission to reproduce any image must be obtained by writing to: Please see our Image Use page for more information.