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Re: Baldaur bondac, the double-bladed dromaeosaurid of Transylvania!

Like the old Troodon reconstructions! :D

On Mon, 30 Aug 2010 17:17:46 -0400
"Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:

> This is a critter I've had to stay mum about for a bit: awesome new
> dromaeosaurid with two sickle claws (digit I and II) on each foot!
> Hans Sues's blog report:
> http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/08/stocky-dr
> agon-from-transylvania.html
> http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/16/1006970107.abstract
> Csikia, Z., M. Vremir, S.L. Brusatte, and M.A. Norell. Early View. An
> aberrant island-dwelling theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of
> Romania. PNAS Published online before print August 30, 2010, doi:
> 10.1073/pnas.1006970107
> Abstract
> Islands are noted for the occurrence of aberrant, endemic, and
> dwarfed taxa (the "island effect"). Late Cretaceous vertebrate
> assemblages of Romania and elsewhere in Europe are classic examples
> of island faunas in the fossil record, and are characterized by
> dwarfed herbivorous dinosaurs and other endemic taxa that are
> noticeably primitive relative to their mainland contemporaries.
> Fossils of the predators inhabiting the European paleoislands,
> however, are exceptionally rare and fragmentary. We describe a new
> dromaeosaurid theropod, based on an articulated skeleton from the
> Maastrichtian of Romania, which represents the most complete
> predatory dinosaur from the middle to Late Cretaceous of Europe. This
> taxon is characterized by a peculiar body plan, most notably
> extensive fusion in the hand and distal hindlimb, a highly
> retroverted pelvis with enlarged femoral muscle attachments, and a
> pair of hyperextensive pedal claws. However, unlike the
> island-dwelling herbivorous dinosaurs, its closest relatives are
> contemporary similar-sized Laurasian taxa, indicating faunal
> connections between Asia and the European islands late into the
> Cretaceous. This theropod provides support for the aberrant nature of
> the Late Cretaceous European island-dwelling dinosaurs, but indicates
> that predators on these islands were not necessarily small,
> geographically endemic, or primitive.
> Hans Sues has an accompanying article as well.
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Email: tholtz@umd.edu Phone: 301-405-4084
> Office: Centreville 1216                      
> Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
> Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
> Fax: 301-314-9661             
> Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park
> Scholars http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
> Fax: 301-314-9843
> Mailing Address:      Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>                       Department of Geology
>                       Building 237, Room 1117
>                       University of Maryland
>                       College Park, MD 20742 USA