Fun Saurornithoides Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 18, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Amazing Saurornithoides facts to learn more about this incredible dinosaur species that lived in the late Jurassic period so let’s dig in.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The last Cretaceous period occurred approximately 66-145 million years ago and this period witnessed various climatic changes. The climate was much warmer and dinosaurs dominated the land. There were different types of dinosaurs classified based on their diet whether they were herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores. The clade Theropoda primarily comprised of the carnivore dinosaurs but later they evolved into omnivores, herbivores dinosaurs. The Theropoda clade consists of the Troodontidae family and the genus Sauronithoides belongs to the Troodontidae. It is a type of maniraptoran dinosaur. The Maniraptora is a clade of coelurosaurian that contains dinosaur specimens that includes all the theropod specimen, which are closely related to birds. And, the Saurornithoides used to be a major predator that possessed the ability to run very fast. The Saurornithoides were bird like small, and slender maniraptorans whose fossil was discovered by a Chinese employee of AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) on an expedition. The name of this dinosaur is derived from Greek as ‘saur’ refers to ‘lizard’, ‘ornith’ refers to ‘bird’ and ‘eides’ refers to form. The fossil that was uncovered primarily incorporated the specimen of its skull, jaw, pelvis, vertebrae, foot, and hind limb. It is due to its bird like skull and claw that it is named ‘Saurornithoides’ and belongs to the Troodontidae family.

Intrigued already? Want to learn more about the Saurornithoides? Then continue reading this article as more interesting facts are stated below.

More such content is available on Urbacodon and Dakotadon so check these out and share the amazing facts with everyone.

Saurornithoides Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Saurornithoides'?

The term ‘Saurornithoides’ is derived from has three Greek stem words. They were named after the structure of its skull. The genus Saurornithoides is pronounced as ‘Sore-orn-ih-thoy-deez'.

What type of dinosaur was a Saurornithoides?

According to the specimen that was unearthed in the Mongolian range it was discovered that the Saurornithoides was a carnivorous genus. This genus contains only one species called Saurornithoides mongoliensis or Troodon mongoliensis. It was named by the geologist and paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn based on the pieces of evidence of its remains. It was named after its bird like skeletal structure and the holotype specimen of this dinosaur is AMNH 6516. Originally this dinosaur was related to the Troodon based on its teeth. Henry Fairfield Osborn initially placed this dinosaur under the Megalosauridae family due to its similarity with the Velociraptor. However, Philip John Currie in 1987 implied that the Saurornithoides mongoliensis were troodontids. Later Norell, Makovicky, and Turner presented a cladogram in 2012 that showed the Sauronithoides as Troodon.

In which geological period did Saurornithoides roam the earth?

The Saurornithoides can be considered to be closely related to the Troodon and other species of troodontids that existed in the late Cretaceous era. This era is contemplated as the last of the Mesozoic era and the lengthiest geological period of the Phanerozoic eon.

When did the Saurornithoides become extinct?

The exact date for the extinction of the Saurornithoides is not listed but they existed in the late Cretaceous that was 66-145 million years ago. The primary reason behind the mass extinction of dinosaurs was severe climate changes and asteroids that eventually erased their entire population.

Where did Saurornithoides live?

The fossil of the Saurornithoides was discovered by an employee of AMNH on an expedition to the Djochta formation of Mongolia. The Djochta formation is also known as Dzhadokhtskaya is located in the Gobi desert and Central Asia. This is an extremely fossiliferous location from where many fossils of dinosaurs, mammals, and other reptiles have been excavated.

What was the Saurornithoides' habitat?

The ideal habitat of the Saurornithoides is not listed. Nevertheless, the late Cretaceous era was warmer.

Who did Saurornithoides live with?

The Saurornithoides were troodontids, However, the social behavior of this dinosaur is not listed.

How long did Saurornithoides live?

The average lifespan of the Saurornithoides is not listed, but they inhabited the earth during the late Cretaceous period.

How did they reproduce?

The fossils and skeletal remains of the dinosaur may provide us with an ample amount of information regarding its structure. However, when it comes to reproduction the data is insufficient. Therefore, the entire process of reproduction of the individual dinosaurs, the gestation period, or the clutch size remains unspecified. It is evident that the Saurornithoides belong to the class of reptiles that reproduced sexually, but their sexual behavior or the method is not explicitly described.

Saurornithoides Fun Facts

What did Saurornithoides look like?

The Saurornithoides mongoliensis is a small sized Theropoda that had an average length range of 7.5-9.8 ft (2.3-3 m). The skull of this dinosaur is its most unique feature. The claws were sickled and they had raptorial arms. The claw of this dinosaur was enlarging and retractable. It had a large brain and was an intelligent non-avian dinosaur. The midline length of the skull of this dinosaur was 7.4 in (189 mm) while Zanabazar junior had 10.71 in (272 mm). As this dinosaur was closely related to the North American troodon it was equally smart and quick. The large eyes enable this dinosaur with great depth of perception and vision.

The jaw of the Saurornithoides consists of many closely spaced teeth.

How many bones did Saurornithoides have?

The specimens of Saurornithoides have been reviewed and studied by many paleontologists and zoologists including Osborn in the past and recently Norell, Makovicky, and Turner. This specimen is contemplated as the only proper holotype from the Mongolian Bayan Zag. The Mongolian specimen constituted skull, hind limb, vertebrae, and a few more pieces. Therefore the total number of bones the Saurornithoides possessed is not listed.

How did they communicate?

Due to insufficient information, the communication skill of the Saurornithoides is not stated.

How big were the Saurornithoides?

This Theropoda dinosaur is described as small sized maniraptoran. The skeleton that has been discovered implies that the Saurornithoides size range was approximately 7.5-9.8 ft (2.3-3 m) in length. They are similar or slightly bigger than the Velociraptor that is 6 ft (1.8 m) in length.

How fast could a Saurornithoides move?

The Sauronithoides had great speed and powerful vision but the Saurornithoide's speed is not listed.

How much did a Saurornithoides weigh?

The weight of the Sauronithoides is not listed.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The particular name for the male and female Saurornithoides mongoliensis is not listed.

What would you call a baby Saurornithoides?

Dinosaurs belong to the same class as the present day reptiles and laid eggs. Therefore, newborns were labeled as hatchlings and later tagged as juveniles. However, further study on this species suggested that the offspring did not require any parental care.

What did they eat?

The Theropoda constituted mainly the meat-eating dinosaurs, but with evolution, some of its species became herbivores and omnivores. The Saurornithoides were predominantly carnivores and a crucial part of its diet consisted of small mammals and other reptiles. Scouring in the Gobi desert for prey suggests that the Saurornithoide's intelligence was relatively more than other species.

How aggressive were they?

They were carnivores and were contemplated one of the major predators. Therefore it can be assumed that they were aggressive.

Did you know...

It is assumed that the Saurornithoides had great night vision.

Why are they called Saurornithoides?

The term Saurornithoides was coined after the description of this dinosaur. Osborn thought of naming this species ‘Ornithoides’ after its bird-like portrayal. However, the phrase Saurornithoids consists of three Greek stem words that imply ‘Saur’ as ‘Lizard’, ‘-ornith’ as ‘bird’ and ‘-eides’ as ‘form’.

Who discovered Saurornithoides?

A Chinese employee of the AMNH on an expedition discovered the fossils of the Saurornithoides on 9th July 1923. The fossil contained a few parts including its skull and vertebra, its holotype sample is AMNH 6516. Later another Mongolian paleontologist found discovered another specimen in 1964.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Heyuannia facts, or Venenosaurus facts pages.

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

Saurornithoides Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small mammals and reptiles

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?


How Much Did They Weigh?


Skin Type


How Long Were They?

7.5-9.8 ft (2.3-3 m)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Saurornithoides mongoliensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?


Where Did They Live?

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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