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Science. 1998 May 15;280(5366):1048-51.

Predatory dinosaur remains from madagascar: implications for the cretaceous biogeography of gondwana

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S. D. Sampson, Department of Anatomy, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY 11568, USA. L. M. Witmer, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohi.


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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