Stocky dragons once ruled Transylvania

WASHINGTON: The fossil of a stocky new dinosaur with two sets of claws on its feet unearthed in Romania has given researchers a window into what European predators looked like in the final years of the Age of Dinosaurs.

“We’ve all been waiting for something like this,” said study author Mark Norell, from the American Museum of Natural History.

“Balaur bondoc is heavy, with unexpectedly stocky limbs and fused bones. It shows just how unusual the fauna of the area was during the waning years of the dinosaur era.”

Lower limbs did gory damage

Balaur bondoc – which means “stocky dragon” – is related to the Velociraptor but has 20 unique characteristics.

It was relatively small – about 1.8 to 2.1 meters long including its tail, with a body about the size of an oversized turkey – and walked on powerful hind legs. Enormous muscles attachment areas in the pelvis indicated it was adapted for strength over speed.

Its hand was atrophied and some of the bones were atrophied, which would have made grasping difficult and indicates that the lower limbs were used to grasp and disembowel prey……….

Read more here Stocky dragons once ruled Transylvania | COSMOS magazine.

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