Predatory Dinosaur Remains from Madagascar: Implications for the Cretaceous Biogeography of Gondwana

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Science  15 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5366, pp. 1048-1051
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5366.1048

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Recent discoveries of fossil vertebrates from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar include several specimens of a large theropod dinosaur. One specimen includes a nearly complete and exquisitely preserved skull with thickened pneumatic nasals, a median frontal horn, and a dorsal projection on the parietals. The new materials are assigned to the enigmatic theropod group Abelisauridae on the basis of a number of unique features. Fossil remains attributable to abelisaurids are restricted to three Gondwanan landmasses: South America, Madagascar, and the Indian subcontinent. This distribution is consistent with a revised paleogeographic reconstruction that posits prolonged links between these landmasses (via Antarctica), perhaps until late in the Late Cretaceous.

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