a meat-eating troodontid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of North America.
Discovered in 1855, Troodon was one of the first dinosaurs described from North America. Problem is, its first known remains amount to a single tooth found in the the Judith river badlands of Fergus County, and we all know the problems that arise from naming dinosaurs on the strength of a single tooth.
Update coming soon...
Troodon was originally spelled Troödon by Joseph Leidy in 1856 but was amended by Sauvage in 1876. The name means "Wounding Tooth" — from the Greek "troo" (wound, injure, pierce) and "odon" (tooth) — because its curved teeth bore jagged upwards-pointing serrations. Funnily enough, this design is more commonly seen in the teeth of herbivorous reptiles.
The species epithet
, means "handsome", "well formed" or "pleasing" in Latin.
The first fossil of Troodon
was discovered in the Judith River Formation of Fergus County, Montana, USA by Dr. F. V. Hayden in 1855. Troodon
was wide-ranging, with fossil remains recovered from as far north as Alaska and as far south as Wyoming and possibly Texas and New Mexico.
(ANSP 9259) is a single tooth.
: Late Cretaceous
: 80-73 mya
Est. max. length
: 2.5 meters
Est. max. hip height
: 0.8 meters
Est. max. weight
: 40 Kg
is the Canadian representative of Troodon
that Sternberg originally named Stenonychosaurus inequalis
based on a foot, fragments of a hand, and some tail vertebrae found in the Dinosaur Park Formation in 1932. The most complete specimen of Stenonychosaurus
was described in 1969 by Dale Russell who also created its hypothetical humanoid descendant known as "the dinosauroid". Stenonychosaurus
was sunk into Troodon formosus
in 1987 by Phil Currie, who performed a flip-flop in 2005, and now refers to the Canadian Troodon
material as Troodon inequalis
was coined in 1991 by Olshevsky for remains from Wyoming's Lance Formation that Carpenter originally named Pectinodon
("comb tooth") in 1982. Pectinodon
and its various species were all sunk into Troodon formosus
by Currie in 1987. But this turned out to be a wasted exercise, as latest research found Pectinodon
to be distinct and valid afterall.
was originally named Pectinodon asiamericanus
by Nessov in 1995 for a tooth (CCMGE 49/12176) from the Cenomanian-aged Khodzhakul Formation of Uzbekistan. It would have benefitted from Pectinodon
being reinstated as a valid critter. However, most experts dismiss it as a nomen dubium.
• J. Leidy (1856) "Notices of remains of extinct reptiles and fishes, discovered by Dr. F. V. Hayden in the bad lands of the Judith River, Nebraska Territory".
• Kenneth Carpenter and Philip J. Currie (1992) "Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives
• L. Nessov (1995) "Dinosaurs of Northern Eurasia: new data about assemblages, ecology and paleobiogeography".
• Philip J. Currie and Eva B. Koppelhus (2005) "Theropods, including birds" in Currie and Koppelhus "Dinosaur Provincial Park, a spectacular ecosystem revealed
• Lindsay E. Zanno, David J. Varricchio, Patrick M. O'Connor, Alan L. Titus and Michael J. Knell (2011). "A new troodontid theropod, Talos sampsoni gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Cretaceous Western Interior Basin of North America".
• Russell, D. A.; Séguin, R. (1982) "Reconstruction of the small Cretaceous theropod Stenonychosaurus inequalis and a hypothetical dinosauroid
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