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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 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.
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.
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.
During the late Cretaceous period the Earth saw one of the most intelligent dinosaurs to ever live: the Troodon. This somewhat bird like dinosaur, while small, has made a significant impact on paleontology due to this dinosaur’s brain size in compari
- Troodon, list of dinosaurs with pictures, facts, teeth, life cycle, nocturnal, information, eggs, bo
Troodon formosus was a relatively small, bird-like dinosaur from the delayed Cretaceous time. Discovered in 1855, it was in the middle of the first dinosaurs found in North America, and is supposed to have been one of the most intelligent.
Troodon formosus (Joseph Leidy, 1856; Sauvage, 1876)
- Troodon formosus dinosaur
Incredible images and fascinating text explore these fascinating animals. A MUST SITE TO VISIT!
- Troodon - Dinosaur Troodon Characteristics, Behavior and Habitat
Possibly the smartest dinosaur that ever lived.