Troodon Was The Most Intelligent Dinosaur To Ever Live
Troodon was an eye-opener for palentologists and scientists who believed dinosaurs had been destined to be dumb creatures. When this dino was dug up, the Dromaeosaurids reigned supreme in the brains department as the smartest dinosaur ever found — however, Troodon was soon confirmed to have been 6 times smarter than the average dino, including the “Droma” which scientists had always deemed the most intelligent. Below we’ll explore how the Troodon broke the proverbial mold and went beyond the expectations of researchers around the world.
|50 kg (110 lbs)
|2.4 meters (7.9 feet)
|0.91 meters (3 feet) at the hips
|Canada, New Mexico, & Western America
What Did Troodon Look Like?
Troodon Was A Smart Cretaceous Carnivore
Dubbed the smartest dinosaur in history, Troodon was a bi-pedal carnivore who lived during the late Cretaceous period — towards what is considered the ultimate end of all dinosaurs. The Troodon was also classified as a Coelurosauria; a light-built dinosaur with hollow bones and a large brain. With excellent hearing and binocular vision, this meat-eater proved a force to be reckoned with.
Physical Attributes of Troodon
Troodon is often compared to modern humans in height — standing 3ft tall at the hips with a length that could reach between 6.5 to 11.5 feet. Equipped with long hind legs and a slender stiff tail, these dinosaurs were quick at their highest weight of 140 pounds. Three clawed fingers on each short hand were ideal for grasping prey, while sickle-shaped claws defined each middle toe. Troodon teeth had serrated edges and measured 2 cm in width and 3 cm in length — perfect for ripping and tearing into the tough hide of their meals. These teeth were hidden behind narrow, powerful jaws; complete with large eyes atop a lithe skull and slender neck.
The Intelligence of Troodon
Troodon was a genius among dinosaurs in the late Cretaceous period. It’s believed that these dinosaurs would have gotten smarter as the evolutionary process took them forward, if it had not been for their extinction. When Troodon died out, they were 6 times smarter than the average dinosaur — which means their intelligence then was the equivalent to a modern parrot with the capabilities to mimic and learn.
Troodon had the ability to gain knowledge through trial and error. For example, if prey slipped away from this deadly predator by weaving through trees or diving underwater, the Troodon would make this a memory before mapping out a strategy to eliminate the possibility of their prey using those methods again.
What Did Troodon Eat?
Since the Troodon was such an intelligent carnivore, it likely had it’s pick of what to eat. Scientists believe it’s diet consisted of herbivorous and omnivorous dinosaurs — however, it’s also possible that it would attack infant carnivores if they had been left behind by their parents for extended periods of time. Meat-eaters like Troodon also had a tendency to munch on fresh eggs and their own young if they were hungry enough.
How Did Troodon Move?
Troodon was built for speed! These smaller dinosaurs could move at an estimated 30 to 40 mph. Their feet were jointed specifically for running — while it ran, the Troodon would rotate the larger middle-toe upwards to gain leverage while running on the other toes. When it sprang, it would bury the middle-toe claws in the hide of it’s prey and hang on until the animal collapsed. These dinosaurs could have easily outrun the majority of herbivores in the late Creaceous period.
Troodon Predators & Prey
As a smart and quick-witted carnivore, Troodon had more prey than predators. If these dinosaurs ever became someone’s dinner, it was likely due to their size and vulnerability in the infant phase. When the Troodon grew to it’s full height and intelligence, it feasted on mainly herbivores and omnivores, with the occasional egg or newborn carnivore. It was the ultimate predator — more than likely towards the tip-top of the Cretaceous period’s food chain.
The History of Discovering Troodon
Where Did Troodon Live?
It remains unclear how many species of Troodon existed; therefore, it’s unsure where this dinosaur could have resided. Fossils have mainly been found in Canada, New Mexico, and Western America, with some teeth found in colder climated areas like Alaska. These are dinosaurs that could have thrived in winter weather because of their bird-like qualities and likely spattering of warm feathers (a theorized attribute that has never been proven).
Troodon Specimen Discovery
The discovery of Troodon was made by Ferdinand V. Hayden in 1855 and gained it’s name in 1856; a title that means “wounding tooth” in Greek. This name was given to Troodon after a serrated teeth and fossilized skulls were uncovered across the expanse of North America. The entire discovery process of the Troodon has been an odd one — palentologists around the world have tried to gain credit for the original fossil finds and no one really knows exactly where it all began. The 1856 palentologist, Joseph Leidy, originally thought he was researching a small, inoffensive lizard rather than one of the most intelligent carnivorous dinosaurs to have ever existed.
In the early 1930’s, fossils of Troodon were found seated atop eggs — suggesting these dinosaurs were devoted parents to their young. The preserved nesting grounds consisted of between 16 to 24 perfectly preserved eggs; this led to the speculation that female Troodon laid 2 to 4 eggs per day for the span of about a week. Further evidence found at the fossil sites suggests after the female was done laying the eggs, the male Troodon would brood on them — enhancing the theory that both parents were prevalent in the lives of their young ones.
The Importance of the Troodon
Troodon was one of the most amazing discoveries ever! When the dinosaur’s intelligence level was confirmed, theories began to culminate about what this dinosaur would have developed into in the process of evolution. If Troodon had never gone extinct, it’s believed that these dinosaurs would have evolved into something resembling human beings — with the exception of a green-tint to their skin, scales, and blade-like teeth. It’s theorizes these creatures would have walked upright — possibly feeding on modern human beings and rising to the top of what we know as the food chain. This rumored evolutionary idea of the Troodon was deemed a “Dinosauroid.”
The importance of these theories about the evolution of the Troodon is what helps scientists and archeologists understand the process of improvement in nature. If the Troodon species were to have evolved, our world would be a completely different place — perhaps dominated by highly-intelligent, carnivorous “Dinosauroid” beings. The discoveries and speculations have allowed us to delve deeper into the “what if’s” of the evolutionary system with animals like Troodon that have been extinct for thousands of years.