The Troodon was a species of feathered dinosaur of the late Cretaceous Period. It's known for possessing the largest brain to body ratio of any known dinosaur. The Troodon had binocular vision with it's eyes pointing forward rather than to the side of it's head. The Troodon from fossil record may have had an omnivorous diet consisting of fruits, nuts, seeds, small mammals, birds, and other dinosaurs. The scientific community is still split on this though as while evidence shows a diet existing of such diversity members of the community are stuck on it's sharp teeth with some consigning that perhaps the Troodon was opportunistic or during the K-T Extinction Event resorted to a diverse diet for survival.
The Troodon Civilization Exercise was inspired by a fanciful paper by Dale Russel that was published in 1982. The paper used speculative evolution to 'uplift' the Troodon into a reptoid near Human species with a civilization close to that of Humanity in the author's present. This exercise does not do so but rather uses the Troodon to test the 'Civilization Development Web' utilized on this website. Similar to the methods used by the RAND Corporation in 1967 when envisioning the year 2000 this exercise explores possible technological and sociological development with in the Troodon without altering their skeletal structure.
This exercise should not be taken as a serious endeavor as it only serves as a fun way for our community to refine, explore, discuss, and practice our methods. While this simulation gives them sapience that's all it gives them. They don't evolve opposable thumbs; they are simply what they are. A factor that will certainly limit their technological progress or challenge our community to become creative with the limitations imposed.
The Troodon Mind
The Troodon brain is roughly the size of an Opposums. In his book The Opossum: Its Amazing Story, William Krause writes, “In spite of their apparent primitiveness and small brain size, opossums have a remarkable capacity to find food and remember where it was found,” besting “rats, rabbits, dogs and cats” at that task. Opossums also do better than rats and cats at solving maze problems.The Opposum, much like the Troodon will eat anything despite it's sharp teeth, and interestingly enough the ancestors of the Opposum emerged during the K-T Extinction Event. Cats of which the Opposum has performed higher on intellectual tests have shown a capacity to develop new behaviors utilizing previous knowledge, to communicate needs, form social groups, and respond to training cues. Recreation of the Troodon brain has placed it on an EQ scale of around 5. Humans score at 7 with most dinosaurs of the K-T Extinction event era scoring a 2 on the EQ scale. The Bottle-Nosed Dolphin for further comparison scores around 4. Skull studies have shown that the Troodon was developing 'folds' in the brain at the time of it's extinction.
The Troodon hand consists of three digits. Examining the hand is essential for determining if the Troodon would even be capable of tool use and with that use the development of further technology.
The Troodon Civilization Exercise is set on an Alternate Earth starting after what in our history was the period of the K-T Extinction event. The causes of the K-T Extinction Event are unknown to us and thus we can not state clearly what astrological or environmental factors of this Alternate Earth have changed to avert it in this scenario. At this 'Year 0' of the exercise the Troodon will develop the stirrings of sentience. For simplicity we will say that the brain folding continued to the point of 'awakening' the Troodon to awareness and with it reason.
Running the Exercise
The Exercise in Thought can be ran solo or in a group with group work being more effective in entertainment and construction of theory. The individual or group should come together either in person or a chatroom to examine Civilization Level 0 developments and discuss which ones the Troodon is capable of. Someone should keep a list of those deemed 'possible' with the group ranking the developments from 'least to most likely' and using a probability generator or simple percentile dice begin the simulation by discovering by such which development the Troodon achieve. With each development they will grow close to advancing until the group reaches a point where further development seems to them impossible. The exercise can be carried out for as long as the person, group, or members of the group find it engaging.