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January 10, 2013

70 million-year-old theropod dinosaur Majungasaurus crenatissimus

The reconstructed skeleton of Majungasaurus crenatissimus, a 70 million-year-old meat-eating theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period that lived on the island of Madagascar. The replica is approximately 21 feet long and stands about 7 feet high.

The fossil skeleton of Majungasaurus was discovered in 1996 by David Krause, a professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at SUNY Stony Brook, and his research team, while on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported expedition to Madagascar.

While on the expedition, Krause also found a group of fossil mammals known as gondwanatheres that have only been found elsewhere in South America and India. Based on this finding, Krause and colleagues came up with new theories about the plate tectonic history of the super-continent Gondwana, which was comprised of South America, Africa, Antarctica, India, and Australia, and Madagascar). Another of their findings is that dinosaurs could be cannibals.

To learn more about the discovery, see the Stony Brook news story Stony Brook Paleontologist Reunites With 70-million-year-old Dinosaur From Madagascar, and the LiveScience article The Bizarre Creatures of Madagascar. [Research supported by NSF grants DEB 92-24396, EAR 94-18816, EAR 97-06302, DEB 99-04045, EAR 01-06477, EAR 01-16517 and EAR 04-46488.] (Date of Image: 2006)

Credit: Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University

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