How T. rex's dumpy little cousin terrorised Europe
Tuesday 31 August 2010
While ancient North America was being terrorised by Tyrannosaurus rex and its ilk, Europe was ruled by a short, fat and dumpy kickboxing killer, scientists believe.
The mini-king of the beasts was little more than six feet long, a fraction of T. rex which grew to more than 40 feet with its skull alone reaching five feet, but Balaur bondoc was the biggest predator in Europe.
It was similar in size to a Velociraptor, the fast-running pack predators featured in Jurassic Park, but was shorter, squatter, slower and has been described as "an oversized turkey".
It was, however, much more robust and muscular than Velociraptor and was equipped with two huge claws on each hind foot with which it would disembowelled its prey. Its killing technique made it "more kickboxer than sprinter" and it is the first predator to have been found from the last 60 million years of the age of the dinosaurs in Europe. The discovery is reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Stephen Brusatte, of the American Museum of Natural History, said: "Compared to the Velociraptor, it's stockier and stronger. More of a kickboxer than a sprinter. The extra claw would have been used to slash prey."
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Primary school head teacher plays dead to escape slaughter by Islamic extremists
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...