Balaur

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Balaur
Temporal range:
Upper Cretaceous, 70 mya
Balaur bondoc.jpg
Balaur bondoc displaying its double
sickle claws in a kicking action
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Superorder:
Order:
Suborder:
Infraorder:
Superfamily:
Dromaeosauroidae
Family:
Genus:
Balaur
the holotype specimen, showing the double sickle claws very clearly

Balaur is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in southern Europe during the Upper Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago.

The specimen is unique: unlike most other dromaeosaurs, it had two sickle claws on each foot, not just one.[1] It had a reduced and presumably nonfunctional third finger, consisting of only one rudimentary phalanx.[1][2]

The specimen 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.[3]

Possibly because it was relatively isolated from other dinosaurs, Balaur developed unique features. It was a small 1.8–2.1 metres (5.9–6.9 ft).[1] This is 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 1.2 Csiki Z. et al 2010. (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. "BBC News – Beefy dino sported fearsome claws". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  3. 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.