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Re: Balaur bondac, the double-bladed dromaeosaurid of Transylvania!
T. Michael Keesey <email@example.com> wrote:
> Andrea Cau posted on the idea here:
Andrea proposed that _Balaur_ might be an "island-dwelling
therizinosaur-mimic". Or to put it more succinctly, a "Dodo-raptor".
Under this hypothesis, the functionally tetradactyl foot is indicative of a
more graviportal posture. The increased distance between opposing pubic shafts
(producing a more barrel-shaped hindquarters) is suggestive of herbivory -
specifically the need to accommodate a larger gut for processing plant
material. This would tie in with the graviportal posture, and the need to
recruit the hallux as a weight-bearing digit. The atrophied manus and
co-ossified carpometacarpus imply decreased predatory ability. With the
exception of the last one, these are all therizinosaur-like features.
But as noted by Andrea, we need to know more about _Balaur_ to back up this
"Dodo-raptor" idea - especially some good cranial material.