Saurornithoides

Name: Saurornithoides (Bird like lizard).
Phonetic: Sore-orn-ih-thoy-deez.
Named By: Henry Fairfield Osborn - 1924.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Troodontidae.
Species: S. mongoliensis (type).
Type: Carnivore.
Size: 2 to 3 meters long.
Known locations: Mongolia - Djadochta Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Single specimen.

       Saurornithoides seems for lack of a better description an Asian counterpart to the famous Troodon from North America. It shares many morphological similarites including being of a comparble size, large eyes and large brain. For this reason Saurornithoides is thought to have been a nocturnal hunter with the large eyes being of more use under poor light conditions. With a similarly sized brain Saurornithoides would have also been of comparable intelligence to Troodon (for a better idea click on Troodon and look up the section 'intelligence').
       There was very nearly a second species of Saurornithoides discovered in 1974 called S. junior. However a 2009 study found several differences and renamed the specimen Zanabazar. Other troodont dinosaurs from the Djadochta Formation that Saurornithoides may have lived alongside include Byronosaurus and Gobivenator.

Further reading
- Three New Theropoda, Protoceratops Zone, Central Mongolia - American Museum Novitates, November 7, 1924 (144): 12pp. - Henry Fairfield Osborn - 1924.
- A Review of the Mongolian Cretaceous Dinosaur Saurornithoides (Troodontidae: Theropoda) - American Museum Novitates 3654: 63. - Mark A. Norell, Peter J. Makovicky, Gabe S. Bever, Amy M. Balanoff, James M. Clark, Rinchen Barsbold & Timothy Rowe - 2009.



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