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a meat-eating troodontid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of North America.
Pronunciation: TROH-o-don
Meaning: Wounding tooth
Author/s: Leidy (1856)
Synonyms: See below
First Discovery: Wyoming, USA
Chart Position: 11

Troodon formosus

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, formosus, means "handsome", "well formed" or "pleasing" in Latin.
Polyodontosaurus (Gilmore, 1932)
Stenonychosaurus (Sternberg, 1932)
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. The holotype (ANSP 9259) is a single tooth.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 80-73 mya
Est. max. length: 2.5 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.8 meters
Est. max. weight: 40 Kg
Diet: Omnivore
Other Species
Troodon inequalis 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.
Troodon bakkeri 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.
Troodon asiamericanus 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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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "TROODON :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 16th Dec 2017.