Balaur Bondoc was raptor that lived in Romania 70 million years ago. What made this raptor stand out among a
Baular bondoc claws

A fossil showing Balaur's two sickle claws

ll raptors, is that it had two sickle claws on each foot - the first claw was also enlarged to a similar size as the second. Another thing that makes it different is that, like T-Rex, it had only two functional fingers, while all other known raptors have three. Even so, it would have been apex predator on its island, as at the time, Romania was split into an archipelago of small islands. No larger teeth have ever been recovered from Romania.

It is argued that the reason for Balaur Bondoc's strange features is the fact that dinosaur life on its island evolved differently to the rest of the world. This happens because if you are on an island, you are not affected by the outside world, and evolution can take a totally different course to that of the rest of the world.

Fact File

Length: 3.5 metres

Height: 2 metres

Weight: 23kg

Diet: Carnivore


  • Artist's reconstruction of Balaur Bondoc
  • Artist's impression of Balaur Bondoc
  • The recovered bones of Balaur Bondoc
Balaur had a lower centre of gravity and was stronger than other raptors. When hunting in packs it would have taken down animals like the 'dwarf' titanosaur Magyarosaurus, and the 'pigmy' duck-bill Telmatosaurus. These animals were smaller than average due to the fact they were on an island.


Balaur Bondac was only named August 2010. It was named after a dragon of Romanian folklore, Balaur. It translates from Romanian as 'Stocky Dragon'. Balaur has been known to science for 10 years, but the remains at first were so fragmentary scientists didn't know what to make of them.

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