Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×
  • Photo
Download PNG 1231 × 1129




Details

Submitted on
September 1, 2010
Image Size
684 KB
Resolution
1231×1129
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
8,616 (3 today)
Favourites
169 (who?)
Comments
63
Downloads
271
×
Balaur bondoc by EWilloughby Balaur bondoc by EWilloughby
Awesome new dromaeosaur was discovered recently from late Cretaceous Romania and described in this month's online preprinting of PNAS. Here's an article: [link]

The weirdest thing about Balaur bondoc is that it had double sickle claws on each foot, with the additional claw being the hallux that evolution had modified into a retractable enlarged claw. It also had a reduced and nonfunctional third manual digit, unlike all other known dromaeosaurs.

Awesome critter!

Here's the Wikipedia article for anyone interested: [link]

[Edit] It now appears to be common belief that the first digit was not as hyperextensible as my original drawing so I edited it to reflect that.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwazzpinator:
Wazzpinator Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool.
Reply
:iconwazzpinator:
Wazzpinator Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool.
Reply
:iconbalaur99dennonychus:
Balaur99Dennonychus Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
This is my absolute favorite dinosaur!! Personally, being an expert on Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs, I think the fact that the number of claws, front and rear, is due to polydactyly of the type, which was not characteristic of the species B. Bondoc.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
The thing is, though, Balaur did not exhibit polydactyly: its "second sickle claw" is just a modified hallux! So it has the same number of toes as every other dromaeosaur. If the second sickle claw was in fact in addition to rather than instead of the hallux, I'd agree that would be a likely instance of polydactyly.
Reply
:iconarchaeosaurisdae:
Archaeosaurisdae Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
absolutely beautiful, he's one of my favorite dromaeosauridae, the amazing uniqueness of this creature fascinates me so. This is probably the best restoration I've seen yet. Especially because it was promoted to Wikipedia. :wow:
Reply
:iconmobius89:
Mobius89 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010
Now I understand why that Romanian super-weapon in Ace Combat: Joint Assault is called Balaur...
Reply
:iconponchofirewalker01:
PonchoFirewalker01 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010
Wait, there's only one individual found, right? What if it's like a mutation glitch or a condition that is like the six-fingered humans. Remember that two headed fossil? Just throwing out possibilities.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Professional General Artist
I responded to this already in another comment but here's the copy/paste:

If you read the paper by the original authors, they make it clear that their analysis of the fossil makes it very unlikely that it was a single mutation.

From the paper:

The extra functional digit is associated with numerous modifications of the pelvis and hin- dlimb, including extensive fusion, a braced articulation between the femur and pelvis, enlarged femoral extensor musculature, and a reinforced and shortened distal hindlimb. Together, these features indicate an animal with hindlimbs optimized for strength and power, with a tetradactyl and hypextensive foot capable of forceful strikes (26).

It's pretty unlikely that a derived trait would have that many functionally related autapomorphies and still be a single mutation. The analysis indicates that these additional sickle claws evolved along with all of its other adaptations for vastly increased hindleg power.
Reply
:iconponchofirewalker01:
PonchoFirewalker01 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010
Hmm, I see. Quite a deal :D
But I suppose we can entirely certain when when find more specimens, right?
Reply
:icondjigr:
Djigr Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
heehee, when I saw this new specie, I found it so interesting!
so I went on Wikipedia in french (coz i'm French BTW) and... there was THREE lines about Balaur. I was so angry that I had to traduct the whole page from english.
Now, there is a real page for Balaur in french ^^
Reply
:iconglendonmellow:
GlendonMellow Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Terrific colouration on the headcrest. Just bright enough to hint at sexual display. .
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconcanislupus9:
CanisLupus9 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
So you're the one who made this picture for wikipedia! I love the way you've rendered the feathers :) If only we could see these creatures in real life (sigh)... Such a strange animal. Good job man.
Reply
:iconjohnfaa:
JohnFaa Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Student Writer
Sadly, it seems more likely that it was a therizinosaur like herbivore.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
I'm not sure I'd agree "it seems" that way. There's certainly a lot of interesting discussion about it on blogs and the DML and such, but until someone publishes some additional research on it it's all just speculation.

Anyway, it could hypothetically be using the kickboxing pose to defend itself, rather than attack large prey. :)
Reply
:iconjohnfaa:
JohnFaa Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Student Writer
Well, it seems the allux wasn't hyperextensible, but rather akin to that of therizinosaurs, used to support the body weight. So the kicking pose is still somewhat inaccurate
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
What do you mean by "it seems", though? So far, the only reputable source that I know of about this dinosaur is the original paper by Csiki. That paper describes the first digit as being somewhat hyperextensible. The theory that the digit was used to support the animal's weight is interesting but still complete speculation.
Reply
:iconjohnfaa:
JohnFaa Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Student Writer
Well, according to Ville Sinkkonen the hyperextensibility of the first toe is rather limited if present at all, and it appears that the second toe was not even that much hyperextensible anyway. Which is, of course, unusual for a dromeosaur.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
That does seem definitely possible, but my drawing is nonetheless based on the only published research on the animal so far. If someone does a followup analysis and publishes it sometime in the near future, I may draw a new version. :)
Reply
:iconjohnfaa:
JohnFaa Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Student Writer
Oh, I'm not forcing anyone to remake this image. I just think its a bit too early for it to be the official image of the animal, as it is already on Wikipedia.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
On second thought, I edited the drawing somewhat making the first digits somewhat less hyperextended. I'm curious what your opinion is now: [link] Do you think that's an improvement?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Usually with these things the first person who manages to reconstruct it gets some amount of status. When I drew this, literally the only thing I had to go on was the paper by the original describers. I didn't have the benefit of forum discussion at that point.
Reply
:iconxinorbis:
Xinorbis Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
At a first glance, it did look weird. Now it does make any sense...

This is the best restoration picture ever :P
Reply
:iconraptor85:
Raptor85 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WHAAAAAT?! Now THAT is coool!! ;D
Yaaay sweet! Awsome awsome drawing aswell! :D
Reply
:iconkazanlak10:
Kazanlak10 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010
Wow that's pretty wild that it evolved sickle clawed first toes as well. Excellent drawing of a bizarre and awesome creature! I'm no paleontologist by any means but it seems like the additional sickle clawed digit might actually be an impediment to slashing prey in the manner long associated with dromaeosaurs though. I wonder if it lends credence to the idea that dromaeosaur sickle claws were instead used like climbing hooks to clamber up the flanks of prey and hold on, and puncture rather then slash. the sickle clawed hallux might be more useful in that role. I'm just speculating however.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
I've actually heard a few people say they think the additional retractable claw would be an extremely beneficial tool for climbing in general, so it's possible you're on to something. I do think most paleontologists believe that no dromaeosaurs likely used their sickle claws for slashing - these claws have a sharp point but not a sharp edge, so cutting or slashing would be difficult. This discovery may indeed make the "climbing crampon" idea seem even more likely.
Reply
:iconkazanlak10:
Kazanlak10 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
I wasn't sure if the idea of dromaeosaurs slashing their preys flanks and abdomens had been totally discarded yet or not. I know at one time it was a popular theory (I recall the late 80s Greg Paul drawing of a melanistic deinonychus clinging to the back of a fleeing tenotosaurus while delivering twin slashing strokes to its flank) but I did read that the "slasher" theory seemed less likely when subjected to closer anatomical scrutiny.

If the sickle clawed first toes were an added climbing adaptation, then maybe this plus its apparently robust and short legged physique suggests it spent a fair amount of time in trees in the manner of a leopard. The reduction of the third digit on the hands is odd though. It's all wild and baseless speculation on my part anyway.
Reply
:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
it's been mooted because without an actual keratin sheath, we just dont know if it had a cutting edge or not.

If it didnt have a sheath different from the core of the claw, more likely the claw was used in killing by making piercing wounds to vital areas.
Reply
:iconsapphire-essence:
Sapphire-Essence Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That is awesome! I didn't think it possible for a dromaeosaur to have more than one sickle claw! That's amazing! ^.-.^

Also, I love the way you drew it. :D
Reply
:iconred-tatsu:
Red-Tatsu Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010
Great drawing! I'd never heard of Balaur until now, so thanks for your choice of subject, also.
Reply
:iconahrkeath:
Ahrkeath Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
I was wondering about the third digit on the hand; it looked reduced, but I couldn' tell from the picture. Thanks for clarifying that!

And thank you for an awesome picture as well! ^^
Reply
:icongaypurpledinosaur:
gaypurpledinosaur Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is the coolest new discovery I think I've ever heard...it's like..mind blowing.

Beautiful rendition of it as well.
Reply
:iconulquiorrajaggerjack:
UlquiorraJaggerjack Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
I learned about this guy yesterday at night school- very cool!! :'D
Reply
:iconmustardofdoom:
mustardofdoom Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
What a crazy thang! Nice image, btw.
Reply
:iconvoidrae:
Voidrae Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad it came out so beautifully! The discoverer of the fossil hit the nail directly on the head - you work so fast! Xio agrees with me that you could easily make a career for yourself out of paleoart of this caliber :)
Reply
:iconrestrainedraptor:
RestrainedRaptor Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010   Digital Artist
Oh, and it would be an honor for you to submit a blog about this on #Raptors4Ever (in case you didn't see the internal thread about it yet).
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
Sorry for my negligence, it did indeed slip under my radar. I would be glad to submit a blog entry for the group; I'll start on it right now. :)
Reply
:iconrestrainedraptor:
RestrainedRaptor Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010   Digital Artist
That's very good of you. ^..^
Reply
:iconrestrainedraptor:
RestrainedRaptor Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010   Digital Artist
You must link to the Wikipedia article now - it's a great sign of success and a valuable resource for people wanting to read more about it. =)

I was just watching Richard Dawkins' Enemies Of Reason on TV. Looks like evolution scores another point this month!
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
Good idea, edited the info to include it!
Reply
:icondr-xiii:
Dr-XIII Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010   Digital Artist
HEY!!! I'VE SEEN THIS IN WIKIPEDIA.ORG!!! WHAT THE HELL YOU DO, SUMMIT THIS IMAGE TO WIKIPEDIA FIRST?!?!??!?
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
I drew it specifically for the Wikipedia article on this animal (much of which I wrote also) last night.
Reply
:icondr-xiii:
Dr-XIII Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010   Digital Artist
:iconiwantitplz: WHAT THE FUCK!?? NO WAY!!! BLOODY UNBELIEVEABLE THAT YOU'RE AN ACTUAL PALEO-ZOOLOGIST!!!
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
Haha. I'm not, just a reasonably educated layman.
Reply
:icontarturus:
Tarturus Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting discovery.
Reply
:iconvioletwhirlwind:
VioletWhirlwind Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw...he looks so happy!

Wow...TWO slashing claws on each foot. That certainly is different. Was it found in older or newer rock than the other raptors? (ie, did it come before or after Velociraptor and others with a single sickle-claw?) That article didn't say.
Reply
:iconribbonworm:
ribbonworm Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Nice!
Reply
:icontrevelyanl85a2:
TrevelyanL85A2 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
Wow this is amazing and a wickedly awesome. <3
Reply
:iconsagekorppi:
SageKorppi Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I was wondering when I'd see this guy start showing up in my inbox! YAAAY! Glad you drew it!!
Reply
:iconcyraptor:
CyRaptor Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
Congrats on this pic being featured on Wikipedia's front page today (if you even consider that a big deal. I probably would).
Reply
Add a Comment: