Pronunciation: no-MIN-gee-uh Meaning: from the Nomingiin Author/s: Barsbold et al. (2000) Synonyms: None known First Discovery: Gobi Desert, Mongolia Chart Position: 387
The tail of Nomingia consists of just 24 vertebrae meaning that, amongst theropod dinosaurs, only the tail of Caudipteryx, with 22 vertebrae, is shorter. It is also the first known non-bird dinosaur to sport a pygostyle (aka "parsons nose"), formed by the last five tail vertebrae being fused into a single plate. In birds, the pygostyle supports long feathers that provide stability and control during flight. Nomingia, however, is an oviraptorosaur, and they couldn't fly due to (amongst other things) tiny wings and lots of heavy muscle, the most notable being a massive "caudofemoralis"—attached to both thigh and tail base— which is a power pack for explosive acceleration.
EtymologyNomingia gobiensis is named for its discovery in the Nomingiin region of the Gobi Desert. The species epithet, gobiensis (goh-bee-EN-sis), is derived from "Gobi" (for the Gobi Desert) and the Latin "-ensis" (from).
DiscoveryThe remains of Nomingia were discovered at Bugeen Tsav (aka Bugin Tsav, Bugiin Tsav) in the Nemegt Formation, Bayankhongor Province, Gobi Desert, Mongolia, by the Mongolian-Japanese Palaeontological Expedition in 1994.
The holotype (GIN 100/119) is consists of a series of vertebral, pelvic girdle and a piece of shin bone from the left leg.