ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on April 22, 2013

Troodon was a bird-like dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period 75-65 million years ago. Discovered in 1855 and named in 1856 by Joseph Leidy an anatomy professor and paleontologist at the University of Pennsylvania, it was among the first dinosaurs discovered in North America. Its species ranged from as far north as Alaska and far south as Texas and New Mexico. Troodon has been classified as the smartest dinosaur discovered thus far with a brain to body ratio that is the highest among the dinosaurs. Equipped with large eyes and binocular vision it is thought that Troodon was a nocturnal hunter. It also had killing claws on both feet, similar to the dromaeosaurids but smaller in comparison. Troodon's name means "wounding tooth" for it's uniquely shaped dentition. The shape of Troodon's teeth indicate that it might have been omnivorous.

Troodon brain size compared to sauropod brain, note sauropods were much bigger than Troodon.
Troodon brain size compared to sauropod brain, note sauropods were much bigger than Troodon.

Troodon Brain cavity

Troodon had one of the largest known brains of any dinosaur, for its body mass (comparable to modern birds)Troodon's cerebrum-to-brain-volume scale was 31.5% to 63% of the way from a nonavian reptile ratio to a more avian design. This leads paleontologists to speculate that Troodon was extremely quick on it's feet, and the position of it's inner ear meant that it had excellent balance. With it's large eyes, and binocular vision it is believed that Troodon hunted at night, probably in a similar way to wolves or hyenas today but with a more bird-like appearance.

Various Troodon teeth
Various Troodon teeth


Some paleontologists believe Troodon was an omnivore, and only preyed on other animals on occasion. This is because some of Troodons teeth are leaf shaped like those of some herbivores. It was not very large although there have been exceptions including the discovery of morphologically similar teeth in Alaska. They were twice the size of Troodon teeth discovered in Montana, Wyoming, and Mexico. Due to it's generally small stature ranging from about 3-6 feet high, and 8-10 feet long, weighing in at about 90-120 pounds, Troodon was not well equipped for taking out large prey. That is unless they hunted in packs. But it is also likely that Troodon spent it's time looking for small mammals or reptiles to eat. It is conceivable to determine that Troodon would have exploited a variety of food sources within it's environment including, insects, and occasionally, berries and leaves. Scientists speculate that it used its long arms and grasping hands to seize live prey, which would have consisted of small animals. It also had a curious opposable thumb on it's three fingered clawed hands. This meant that it would be able to manipulate simple objects, probably not as efficiently as primate or human hands however.

Dale Russell's "Dinosauroid" with it's ancestor the Troodon.
Dale Russell's "Dinosauroid" with it's ancestor the Troodon.

The Dinosauroid

In 1982, curator of vertebrate fossils at the National Museum of Canada, Dr. Dale Russell presumed the possibility of a sapient dinosaur descended from Troodon that might have been taken the evolutionary niche that human beings fill today. Had it not died out after the KT extinction event 65 million years ago, Russell suggests that Troodon could have evolved into an intelligent being with a body plan comparable to modern humans. Russell's dinosauroid was considered too anthropomorphic and was criticized by many of his fellow paleontologists for it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ChrisIndellicati profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New York, NY

      How come they never talked about dinosaurs when I was in school? Anyway, happy to help :)

    • rutley profile image


      6 years ago from South Jersey

      This helps with my son's homework! Thanks so much!

    • ChrisIndellicati profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New York, NY

      LOL for real imagine waking up to one of those!

    • scottcgruber profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Yeesh! That dinosauroid is gonna give me nightmares tonight.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)