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Sinovenator (Wikimedia Commons)


Sinovenator (Greek for "Chinese hunter"); pronounced SIGH-no-VEN-ate-or


Woodlands of China

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (130-125 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 3 feet long and 5-10 pounds


Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; long legs; feathers


About Sinovenator:

One of the numerous genera of dino-birds dug up in China's Liaoning Quarry, Sinovenator was most closely related to Troodon (hailed by some experts as the smartest dinosaur that ever lived). Confusingly, though, this small, feathered theropod had the raised single claw on each hind foot characteristic of raptors, and thus may represent an intermediate form between early raptors and later troodonts. Whatever the case, Sinovenator appears to have been a fast, agile predator. In light of the fact that its remains were found mixed in with those of other early Cretaceous dino-birds such as Incisivosaurus and Sinornithosaurus, it probably hunted its fellow theropods (and was hunted by them in turn).


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