Fun Sinornithoides Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 20, 2022 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
One of the interesting Sinornithoides facts is that they are the smallest known theropods.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Sinornithoides, meaning 'Chinese bird form', is a troodontid from the Early Cretaceous period that lived in Mongolia, China. The dinosaur had a weight similar to a chicken and has been preserved in its sleeping position.

Sinornithoides are also one of the earliest known small theropod dinosaurs.

Sinornithoides also belong to the order of Saurischia dinosaurs which indicates that these dinosaurs were not related to lizards but rather had pelvic bones with a similar shape.

In 1994, it was the most wholly known troodontid species. However the lack of sufficient fossil material for this species made Russell and Dong, the scientists who described and named the dinosaur, not indicate any diagnostic traits for it even though it had a strong palate.

For more relatable content, check out these Atrociraptor facts and Ostafrikasaurus facts for kids.

Sinornithoides Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Sinornithoides'?

The correct Sinornithoides pronunciation is 'sy-nor-nith-oy-deez'.

What type of dinosaur were Sinornithoides?

Sinornithoides, which means 'Chinese bird form', is a genus of troodontid theropod dinosaurs. Sinornithoides dinosaurs have only one known species, Sinornithoides youngi.

In which geological period did the Sinornithoides roam the Earth?

The remains of the family of this dinosaur, Sinornithoides youngi, lead us to estimate that these dinosaurs lived in the world during the Aptian/Albian stage of the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 110 million years ago.

When did Sinornithoides become extinct?

According to their fossil discovery, it has been approximated that the Sinornithoides' last recorded appearance was around 100 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous period. Around this time, the species Sinornithoides must have gone extinct.

Where did Sinornithoides live?

According to the discovery of Sinornithoides fossils, it has been concluded that the species must have lived in what is now present-day Mongolia and China in Asia. The fossils have been majorly found in the Ordos Basin in inner Mongolia of China, Asia.

What was the Sinornithoides habitat?

The Sinornithoides youngi is believed to have lived in a terrestrial habitat in China. According to many studies done on dinosaur species, it has been found that most dinosaurs preferred living along ancient rivers and streams.

They would roam in forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps and lakes. On the other hand, the Cretaceous period was known for a relatively warm climate.

It resulted in high eustatic sea levels, creating numerous shallow inland seas. These water bodies were populated with marine reptiles, ammonites, and rudists, which are all extinct now.

Who did Sinornithoides live with?

Sinornithoides youngi lived through the Early Cretaceous period with other dinosaur species like Oviraptor, Segnosaurus, Khaan, and Tarbosaurus that possibly lived in the same region as them.

How long did Sinornithoides live?

Sinornithoides dinosaurs are believed to have lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately in the range from about 110 million years ago to 100 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

The reproduction of this dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous period, Sinornithoides youngi, is believed to be oviparous. This means that they are believed to reproduce by laying eggs as opposed to viviparous reproduction, where reproduction takes place by giving birth to young ones. 

Sinornithoides Fun Facts

What did Sinornithoides look like?

Sinornithoides dinosaurs belong to the group of troodontid, which is a group of small bird-like dinosaurs. Troodontids are known for their unique features of the skull, including the closely spaced teeth in their lower jaws and a large number of teeth.

Sinornithoides' dentary, lower jaw, and teeth are covered, pointed with no edge denticles unless otherwise noted. Troodontids are also known for their sickle claws and raptorial hands. However, Sinornithoides had a relatively large sickle claw on the second toe compared to a troodontid.

Troodontids are also known to be very intelligent dinosaurs with encephalization quotients as they were behaviorally advanced and were known for their keen senses. Sinornithoides also had an elongated and pointed skull, but their head was relatively shorter in comparison to the rest of their body.

This dinosaur also has a nearly complete skeletal structure. Their holotype consists of a furcula and 15 pairs of gastralia. The arms of Sinornithoides dinosaurs were believed to have been weakly developed and they had slender humerus and ulna.

Sinornithoides lived during the Early Cretaceous period and are known for their carnivore diet

How many bones did a Sinornithoides have?

The fossil representation for this dinosaur includes the holotype IVPP V9612, which is an almost complete skeleton with a skull. The skull is also nearly complete but lacks its roof.

It consists of some cervical and many dorsal vertebrae and other skeletal elements. The holotype is of a sub-adult individual and is preserved with its snout tucked under its left hand, which is its roosting position. The position of its snout tucked under its left hand is the same as the troodontid fossil of Mei long.

How did they communicate?

Not enough content is available to know how exactly Sinornithoides dinosaurs communicated with each other or the dinosaurs of different species.

Philip J. Senter, an American paleontologist and a professor of Zoology at Fayetteville State University, in his review of prehistoric animal sounds had mentioned that dinosaurs used to communicate by hissing, grinding their mandibles against the upper jaws, rubbing scales together, clapping their jaws together, and by the use of environmental materials like splashing against water.

It is also believed that dinosaurs communicated vocally and visually. These two modes of communication would have been most used during defensive posturing, courtship behavior, and territory fights.

According to the same assumption, it is believed that the head crests of some species like Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus were used to amplify grunts or bellows.

How big were Sinornithoides?

The exact measurements regarding a Sinornithoides' height and length are believed to be approximately 3.6 ft (1.1 m) in length and 18 in (45.7 cm) in height. The size and length of this dinosaur are believed to be similar to a turkey.

How fast could a Sinornithoides move?

This dinosaur from the genus Sinornithoides was very intelligent and had a relatively high brain. Sinorthoides had very long legs and were considered to be very fast runners.

How much did a Sinornithoides weigh?

According to the body length of this dinosaur, thanks to an almost complete skeleton, the weight of this dinosaurs is believed to have been around 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male Sinornithoides dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Sinornithoides?

Since Sinornithoides dinosaurs reproduced by laying eggs and the young ones were born when the eggs hatched, ababy Sinornithoides can be called hatchling or nestling, unless otherwise noted. This generalized term can be used for all dinosaurs since they all hatched from eggs.

In the case of theropods, dinosaurs that resemble birds, a baby theropod can also be referred to as a chick.

What did they eat?

This Chinese bird form probably used to have invertebrates and other small prey. A Sinornithoides' diet consisted of a strict carnivore diet. However, some scientists believe that Sinornithoides dinosaurs would have been omnivores, and their diet might have also included plant materials along with the usual meat options like mammals, smaller dinosaurs, and insects.

How aggressive were they?

These dinosaurs, with almost complete skeleton structures, were carnivorous in nature as well as fast runners. It is safe to assume that they must have been aggressive in nature, which would have helped them to survive in the wild.

Did you know...

Sinornithoides have appeared in the 'Dinosaur Field Guide' and also in the 'Jurassic World Dinosaur Field Guide'. 'The Jurassic World Dinosaur Field Guide' is a kids-friendly and non-fiction guide that includes the description of over 100 dinosaurs, explained in very easy language.

This guide was a rewrite of the 'Jurassic Park Dinosaur Field Guide' from 2001 and was created by the paleontologists Dr. Thomas Holtz and Dr. Micheal Brett-Surman and was illustrated by Robert Walters.

Is a Sinornithoides a carnivore?

Sinornithoides dinosaurs were initially known for their carnivore lifestyle, which included invertebrates and many other small prey. But scientists also believe that this Chinese bird form might have been omnivorous in real-life, feeding on relatively more plants than animals.

Who discovered the Sinornithoides?

The name Sinornithoides is derived from Latin and Greek words which mean 'Chinese bird form', based on its bird-like structure. It was named by Dale Russell and Dong Zhiming in 1993 and 1994 and was described by them too.

The type species was discovered in 1988 in a Chinese-Canadian expedition near the Ordos Basin of inner Mongolia by Yang Zhongjian, to honor whom the dinosaur was given the specific name Sinornithoides youngi.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Quilmesaurus interesting facts and Austroraptor surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable stomping dinosaur coloring pages.

Main image by John Conway.

Second image by Jaime A. Headden

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

Read full bio >