Troödon lived about 76 to 70 million years ago. It may have been the smartest dinosaur that ever lived. It had a very large space in its skull for a brain, so paleontologists guess that it was very intelligent. Troödon also had large eyes, so many paleontologists believe that it hunted at night. It could probably hear very well too. Troödon grew to be about eight feet long: the size of a small car. It was three feet tall at the hips. It might have weighed around 110 pounds. Troödon was a bipedal dinosaur, meaning that it walked on two legs. It had long legs and a very light body. It wasn’t weighed down with heavy armor or spikes so it could probably run very fast. It had a stiff tail that was kept up high off the ground. This was very useful for balance, and could help this dinosaur turn quickly while it was running.
Troödon was a carnivore, meaning that it ate meat. Its name means “wounding tooth”. It had a mouth full of sharp teeth that were serrated like a saw. It had many, many teeth. No other theropod dinosaur had so many teeth. It had three fingers with long, sharp claws. They were very useful for grabbing the smaller dinosaurs that it hunted. It also had a long, curved claw on one toe and smaller claws on its other toes. This large claw could snap forward like a cat’s claw. Troödon usually kept its deadly claw out of the way and walked on its other toes. This way it was always kept sharp. It ate just about anything it could slash with its toe claws or bite with its teeth.
The very first Troödon fossil found was that of a single serrated tooth. It didn’t look like the tooth of any known dinosaur, so paleontologists decided that it belonged to a new kind of dinosaur. The more completeskeletons were found later. Troödon skeletons have been found in what is now Montana and Wyoming in North American and in Alberta, Canada. They also found eggs. Troödon eggs were long and unusual. They didn’t look like the eggs of any other dinosaur. Fossilized Troödon nests were found in Montana. The nests were made of dirt; the eggs were buried in the ground until they hatched.