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What an incredible find! Sadly, no closer to getting actual dinosaur DNA, but get a load of those feathers...…

Hello raptorial ones!

I am posting here with permission from our illustrious admins in order to advertise my forum and invite any and all of you to come check it out. It's called Mesozoic Outpost and, while it's been around for a while, it's in need of a bit of an activity boost so I've been trying to recruit some new members.

The forum has all kinds of people: raptor fans, paleontology enthusiasts, therians, gamers, and roleplay enthusiasts, so there's probably a niche there for anyone who'd like to join. It's got a fairly laid-back atmosphere and we welcome all types of raptors, feathered or scaly, spiritual or academic - as long as you play nice. :) There's a Mature Discussion section for anyone above 18.

Please come by and enjoy your stay!

-EWilloughby, formerly Ferahgo the Assassin
On Monday, news surfaced of a strange new dromaeosaur from the late Cretaceous of Romania. Its name is Balaur bondoc and it was around the size of (and most closely related to) the well-known Velociraptor. This is no ordinary dromaeosaur, though - it has several bizarre anatomical features that set it apart from any raptor yet discovered.

The most notable of these is the presence of double sickle claws on each foot. The second toe in dromaeosaurids is the one that typically sports the unique large retractable claw that's common to the clade, but in Balaur the first toe - usually a tiny hallux in other theropods - has been modified through evolution to mimic the appearance and function of the second. This strange feature is no random mutation, either. The paleontologist responsible for its discovery, Zoltán Csiki of the University of Bucharest, makes it clear in his PNAS publication that this new raptor exhibits a fair number of unusual features that are specific to its powerful toes, feet and legs. These are called "autapomorphies" and, when in association like this, are very unlikely to be single, random mutations, though they may look that way at first glance.

Other odd features of Balaur include its unusually short, stout skeletal structure and limbs. Its name means "stocky dragon" in Romanian and refers to its unusual heftiness. Also peculiar are its hands, which contain a reduced and completely nonfunctional third finger. The atrophied state of its hands, along with the powerful structure of its legs and feet, indicate that the animal probably hunted primarily with the weapons on the lower half of its body.

For more information, please see the Wikipedia article as well its accompanying illustration.
Discovered by ZhaKrisstol...

Velociraptor 'Raptor' Dinosaur Light Switch on

Raptor Jesus must be turning in his grave!

And in case you're wondering, yes, he's real.

You'll see a few items in your devWATCH that you have probably seen before. Please excuse these re-submissions. These were duplicates, and the new submissions are the originals. Feel free to +fav and comment on them again.

Remember that you don't have to re-submit something in your gallery to put it in a group! To contribute something that already exists, go and visit the group's gallery and click the + icon next to the appropriate category.  If you've already submitted a duplicate by accident, just note us!


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