|Troodon formosus |
Troodon was a small meat-eating dinosaur with a relatively large brain, and long, sharp claws. It belonged to the taxonomic family Troodontidae, which is in the order Saurischia (the lizard-hipped dinosaurs). It was about the size of an adult man, with up to 122 sharp serrated teeth inside its long jaws. Troodon's closest relatives were other troodontids, such as Saurornithoides and Zanabazar, as well as dromaeosaurids, such as Deinonychus and Velociraptor. Troodon grew up to 12 feet in length, 5 to 6 feet tall, and weighing up to 225 pounds, in the largest known specimens.[Reference needed]
Fossils of this dinosaur species have been found in Western North America, in Canada and the United States. A Troodon tooth has also been found in Eastern Siberia, indicating that it probably lived in Asia, as well. Like many other dinosaurs, evolutionists claim that it had feathers. This is based on the fact that some troodontid fossils discovered in China allegedly show evidence of feather-like structures. However, in China, many people like to fake fossils of feathered dinosaurs, and then sell them on the black market, in order to earn more money. So, these supposed feathers are most likely fake, as well.[Reference needed]
Troodon was not very big, compared to many other dinosaurs, such as the Ceratopsians, or the Tyrannosaurs. However, if it were alive today, it would be considered a relatively large predator, by the standards of human beings. It had large eyes, which has led many palaeontologists to believe that it was largely a nocturnal predator, hunting at night for its prey, which likely included small mammals and reptiles, as well as other dinosaurs. Its skull was about 10 inches long, and it had many teeth. The teeth of Troodon were very unique, actually. In fact, they are very different from those of any other carnivorous dinosaur, discovered so far. The teeth are about 2 inches long, and are leaf-shaped. They have very large, bump-like serrations, unlike the finer serrations on the teeth of most other theropods. These bump-ridged teeth are somwhat similar in structure to the teeth of modern day Iguanas, which are predominantly plant-eaters. This has led several researchers to conclude that Troodon was, in fact, omnivorous, just like modern-day Bears, and that it probably ate plants and vegetable matter, as well as meat.[Reference needed]
Troodon had a long tail, which probably helped it to balance, and to remain upright, while it was walking. It had a Pelvis structure that was similar to those of modern—day Lizards, and not Birds, which is yet another blow to the evolutionists' hypothesis that birds evolved from dinosaurs. It had long legs, with its tibia being longer than its femur, meaning that it was probably a rather quick mover. It had four toes, on each of its feet. One toe was tiny and vestigial, and never reached the ground. This was called the dewclaw. The second toe, however, had an enormous sickle-shaped retractable claw, used for stabbing and slashing at prey. This was very similar to the sickle-claws of other deinonychosaurs, such as dromaeosaurids, as well as other troodontids. It walked on the last two toes.[Reference needed]
Evolutionists claim to have found evidence of bird-like air sacs in the skeleton of Aerosteon, another meat-eating theropod dinosaur. They claim that this is evidence of a link between dinosaurs and birds. However, in reality, they don't prove a thing. Mammals also have air sacs. However, they are found only in the bones of the skull, unlike in birds, which have them everywhere in their bodies, as did dinosaurs. However, just because dinosaurs have air sacs everywhere in theirs skeletons, like birds, doesn't prove a thing. Second of all, birds don't have diaphragms, but crocodiles do. And new studies by John Reuben et. al. have demonstrated that fossils of coelurosaurs, such as Sinosauropteryx and Scipionyx, preserve evidence of a soft-tissue diaphragm, which assisted in respiration, just like that of modern-day crocodilians. And, so, in the end, we can pretty safely come to the conclusion that Troodon's respiratory system was like that of modern reptiles, and not birds, unlike what the evolutionists say.
History of Discovery
Troodon was first described and named in the year 1856, by Dr. Joseph Leidy. Its earliest-known remains were a single tooth discovered in the Judith River Formation of Montana, by the famed American explorer Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, and then sent to Dr. Leidy. At first, Dr. Leidy classified it as a lacertilian (a lizard). Then, 20 years later, in 1876, Edward Drinker Cope proved that it was actually a theropod dinosaur. Then, in 1901, Francsz Nopsca classified it as a megalosaurid, specifically. Then, in 1924, Gilmore compared the tooth of Troodon to the teeth of an herbivorous dinosaur called Stegoceras. Because of their similarities, Gilmore was led to conclude that they were really the same animal. Thus, under the rules of biological naming, because Troodon was the older name, in this situation, it took priority. So, he then made the name Stegoceras a junior synonym of Troodon, and the family Pachycephalosauridae a junior synonym of the family Troodontidae. And, so, scientists then started to use the name "Troodon", to describe these dome-headed, head-banging plant-eaters! Then, in 1932, Charles Mortram Sternberg discovered a new species of small carnivorous dinosaur, in Alberta, Canada. He named it Stenonychosaurus inaequalis. Then, in 1987, Dr. Philip J. Currie compared the tooth of Troodon to the teeth of Stenonychosaurus, and found out that they were nearly identical, to each other. Thus, Currie then made Stenonychosaurus a junior synonym of Troodon, and we now know that Troodon was a medium-sized theropod dinosaur.
However, although we now know that Troodon formosus is, indeed, a valid taxon, we still do not know exactly how many species of Troodon existed. In 2011, Lindsay Zanno and colleagues published a paper describing Talos sampsoni, a new species of troodontid from Southern Utah. They said that this find proves that Troodon was not the only troodontid living in Western North America. They also stated that this new find proves that it is certainly possible that more, undiscovered species of Troodon existed.
- Troodon Wikispecies. Accessed January 5, 2012. Unknown author.
- Boyle, Alan. Birds, Dinosaurs: No Direct Link, New Study Contends MSNBC. November 13, 1997.
- Troodon Wikipedia.