You first may be wondering, ‘what in the world is a Latenivenatrix?’ ‘Is DinoMaster throwing out crazy names I’ve never heard of again?’ But you actually know it well by its old name: Troodon. Troodon has actually only ever been known by fossil teeth, and those teeth were found in 2017 to fit into a different animal: Latenivenatrix. This meant the name and species ‘Troodon’ was absorbed as a synonym and ceased to exist. But the old name is still popular and floats around in media. Latenivenatrix is the largest troodontid known at 3.5 meters (12 feet) long, about 1.8 meters tall (6 feet), at least 90 kg (200 lbs), and had the largest relative brain size of any dinosaur. It was a lethal and highly attuned predator with pinpoint binocular vision; it’s keen senses were especially so in the dark. It hailed from the well known Canadian Dinosaur Park formation. There it would’ve dominated smaller hunters like Dromaeosaurus and Stenonychosaurus, and patrolled alongside famous contemporaries such as Parasaurolophus, Daspletosaurus, Chasmosaurus, and Euoplocephalus.
- Troodonts like Latenivenatrix are known for their oddly serrated teeth. This has lead to scientists believing they could’ve been partial omnivores. They may have been like modern foxes, being primary carnivores, but if prey animals are unavailable they can survive on certain plants to avoid starvation. Because of the coarse serrations on the teeth, bite wounds inflicted would’ve been ragged and resulted in prey quickly going into shock from pain.
- Latenivenatrix, formerly Troodon, is well known in Jurassic Park media to have been venomous. This however is not true in real life. The only dinosaur that has shown possible evidence of a venomous bite is Sinornithosaurus.
- Troodonts and Dromaeosaurs seem to have filled different niches. Dromaesaurs were not as fast but more powerful enabling them to go after robust prey like hadrosaurs and ceratopsians. Troodonts however had much more powerful senses and lighter bones for higher speed and leaping ability, and likely specialized in hunting speedy prey like ornithomimosaurs. Fossil evidence points to Latenivenatrix in particular being a predator of predators. It seems to have preferred hunting fellow raptors and even sub-adult tyrannosaurs!
- Latenivenatrix means “Hiding Huntress.” It’s old and unused name, Troodon, means “Wounding Tooth.”
Would you like to see Latenivenatrix (formerly known as Troodon) in Jurassic World: Alive?
How do you think it would be in game?
Dinosaurs we would Like #9 - Deinonychus