Saurornithoides

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Saurornithoides
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Deinonychosauria
Family: Troodontidae
Genus: Saurornithoides
Osborn, 1924
Species

S. mongoliensis Osborn, 1924 (type)

Saurornithoides skull

Saurornithoides was a fast running dinosaur from 79 million years ago. It was related to Troodon. Its fossils have been found in Mongolia and China. Like its cousin Troodon, Saurornithoides was an intelligent predator, with large eyes and good vision. Saurornithoides had a retractable, sickle-shaped claw on the second claw of each foot that it used for attacking prey. Saurornithoides probably fed on small prey, such as lizards, frogs, insects, and small mammals. It may also have hunted in packs to bring down other dinosaurs. Saurornithoides was discovered in the Gobi Desert on an expedition in the 1920's that was led by Roy Chapman Andrews. The dinosaurs Velociraptor, Protoceratops, and Oviraptor were also discovered during these expeditions to the Gobi Desert. It is so similar to Troodon, that some paleontologists believe that it is the same dinosaur as Troodon. If so, then the name Troodon would take priority, because it was coined first.