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Temporal range:
Upper Cretaceous, 70 mya
Balaur bondoc.jpg
Balaur bondoc displaying its double
sickle claws in a kicking action
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Deinonychosauria
Superfamily: Dromaeosauroidae
Family: Dromaeosauridae
Genus: Balaur

Balaur is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in southern Europe during the Upper Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago. It is unique because, unlike most other dromaeosaurs, it had two sickle claws on each foot, not just one.[1]

It was discovered in 2010. Balaur lived on a large prehistoric island called Hateg Island. Seventy million years ago, sea levels were much higher than they are today. Europe was an archipelago of islands.[2] Possibly because it was relatively isolated from other dinosaurs, Balaur developed unique features. Balaur was relatively small, with an overall length of about 1.8–2.1 metres (5.9–6.9 ft).[1] This would be an example of island dwarfism.

There is one known species, Balaur bondoc. Balaur was a velociraptorine. Studies have shown that it is most closely related to the famous Asian dromaeosaurid Velociraptor.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Csiki Z. et al 2010.. "An aberrant island-dwelling theropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous of Romania". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (35): 15357–15361. doi:10.1073/pnas.1006970107. PMC 2932599. PMID 20805514. 
  2. Stein K. et al (2010). "Small body size and extreme cortical bone remodeling indicate phyletic dwarfism in Magyarosaurus dacus (Sauropoda: Titanosauria)". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107 (20): 9258–9263. doi:10.1073/pnas.1000781107. PMC 2889090. PMID 20435913. 

Balaur bondoc compared in size to a human
the holotype specimen, showing the double sickle claws very clearly