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Paravian theropods are all the rage right now, and not just because of the phylotarded, retrofitted ones that appear in a certain blockbuster movie. This week sees the publication of a lengthy paravian-themed paper by long-time collaborator Andrea Cau, former student Tom Brougham and myself on the enigmatic and wonderful Romanian paravian Balaur bondoc, originally described in 2010 by Zoltán Csiki-Sava and colleagues and discovered by my friend and colleague Mátyás Vremir in 2009 (Csiki et al. 2010). Balaur got a rightful amount of press coverage following its discovery, with much of the attention being focused on the fact that it was regarded as an especially close relative of the east Asian, desert-dwelling dromaeosauridVelociraptor (Csiki et al. 2010). As discussed below, Balaur is anatomically weird when interpreted as a dromaeosaurid, and the hypothesis favoured by Csiki et al. (2010) and then by Brusatte et al. (2013) in their monograph on the animal was that this weirdness is down to its isolated evolution on an island.
Art: Jonathan Kuo 💘 Follow @Dinosaur___club for more 😉
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