|“||This is Troodon, the first dinosaur ever discovered in America.||„|
|— Allen, about Troodon|
Troodon (name meaning "Wounding Tooth") is a dubious genus of small, omnivorous, intelligent, fierce, and deadly theropod Deinonychosaur troodontid dinosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America.
The Troodontids were close relatives of the Dromaesaurids. As such, they were part of the raptor family, related to dinosaurs like Velociraptor, Utahraptor, and Deinonychus, so it has a small, sickle toe claw it used to hold down and keep a grip on its prey.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Troodon lived during the Late Cretaceous period from 80–65 million years ago. They lived in Texas with Deinosuchus, Albertosaurus, and Parasaurolophus. Discovered by Joseph Mellick Leidy in 1856, Troodon was said to be the very first dinosaur ever discovered in America.
Troodon was a relatively small dinosaur, with the largest recorded specimens growing to around 6–8 feet long, standing 3–5 feet tall, and weighing up to 100lbs.
However, they had a very large brain, in fact the largest brain of any dinosaur, relative to their body size. As such, Troodon was the smartest dinosaur ever discovered so far, with its intelligence equaling that have a modern day opossum. It has even been claimed that this would have given this cunning reptile the same levels of intelligence as a Red Fox. This would have made it the "smartest dinosaur known".
Troodons were lightly-built, sinuous, and walk on two legs, like other theropods. They have long legs, adapted for running quickly, and relatively short arms. Troodon has a long, stiff, whip-like tail, to help it balance, while it was running. Troodon's eyes were forward facing and large, and it had very good eyesight, which enabled to either hunt at night or to see in the dark lengthy polar winters.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Troodons were vicious predators as they were clever brighters. Troodons hunted in packs, like modern-day wolves or lions, overwhelming larger prey. It was a nocturnal hunter, using its acute senses of vision and hearing to hunt for its prey, at night. Females laid up to 24 eggs. When incubating, male Troodon would sit on the nest like modern birds do.
Troodon was an omnivore, as evidenced by their serrated teeth. Though they most certainly ate plants, they were known to have raided the nests of large herbivores in its area, such as Parasaurolophus. They were also known to eat fish, small mammals, and even scavenge.
Troodon had hands for grasping that it used in hunting. Like other raptors, Troodon had a sharp, retractable sickle-shaped claw on the second toe of each of its hind feet. It used this claw to slash at its prey. But they also used their claws to hold down their prey besides clawing them.