The remains of previously unknown species of predatory the ropod dinosaurs which lived 70-80 million years ago have been discovered by paleontologists from the University of Bucharest and the American Museum of Natural History in Romania.
The researchers were studying the species of the Maastrichtian stage of the Cretaceous period and found fossilized bones that were so unlike previous findings that the reconstruction of the skeleton proved to be extremely difficulty.
Scientists have so far been able to restore an animal which appears to have had the shape of a lizard and which moved about on its two hind limbs.
A close relative of one of the most ferocious dinosaurs; Velociraptor, the new dinosaur has received the scientific name: ‘Balaur bondoc’ (Stocky Dragon).
The name of the reptile reflects its external characteristics; ‘Balaur’, in the old Romanian language means “dragon” and “bondoc” means “stocky”.
According to archaeologists, in the late Cretaceous period, Romania was an island, and island animals were usually smaller and more primitive than their mainland counterparts.
However, judging by the bones that were found, Balaur was much larger than its cousins which lived in other parts of the world.
The length of its body ranged from 1.8 to 2 meters, and on the first two fingers of its lower extremities were large claws, which it used to tear open its victims’ bodies.
The front and hind limbs were short.
The structure of the body, according to researchers, gave the dinosaurs brute force, and they were able to prey on large animals