'Stocky dragon' dino was a terrifying predator of Late Cretaceous Europe

Written by: Nitsi
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Washington, Aug 31 (ANI): Palaeontologists have discovered a new species of dinosaur called Balaur bondoc that hunted the dwarfed inhabitants of Late Cretaceous Europe.

Balaur bondoc means 'stocky dragon' (Balaur from an archaic Romanian term for dragon, bondoc meaning stocky), according palaeontologists from University of Bucharest and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).

"While we would expect that there were carnivorous animals in these faunas, finding one as unusual as Balaur is thrilling and is testament to the unusual animals found on islands today and in the past," said Mark Norell of AMNH.

The fossils indicate that the animal was perhaps six to seven feet long with a stockier build than similarly sized Velociraptors.

"Although Balaur is so extremely divergent morphologically, it is closely related to animals like Velociraptor and the feathered dinosaurs in China," said lead author Zoltan Csiki.

"The finding indicates that this area of the world, despite its archipelago geography, had at least intermittent faunal connections with the mainland up to the end of the Cretaceous."

The findings are published in the Aug. 31st issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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