The systematic position of the small theropod dinosaur Troodon has had a confusing history and has been identified at different times as a lizard, a pachycephalosaurid, and a coelurosaurid. Troodon is now most commonly considered as a sister taxon to Dromeaosauridae, within Maniraptora. This study records the first evidence of Troodon in the Danek bonebed, an organic-rich member of the upper Campanian Horseshoe Canyon Formation. A single tooth (UALVP 55489) was recovered during the 2012 dig season, and it is exceptionally well-preserved. Its discovery prompted a reevaluation of variation within troodontid teeth in Alberta; it is compared here with 110 troodontid teeth from the Dinosaur Park, Horseshoe Canyon, and Wapiti formations. The results show that no distinctive morphotypes can be separated, in contrast to the results of other studies. This suggests that either troodontid teeth are not sufficiently different for identifying different species or that only one troodontid taxon is present in the Campanian of Alberta.
↵1 This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “The Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed: new insights on the systematics, biogeography, and palaeoecology of Late Cretaceous dinosaur communities”.
- Received March 28, 2014.
- Accepted July 16, 2014.
- Published on the NRC Research Press Web site at http://cjes.nrc.ca on December 15, 2014.
- Published by NRC Research Press