On the tiny secluded island of Madagascar, the remains of an undocumented dinosaur species have been discovered. The Dahalokely tokana, whose name means “lonely small bandit”, was a meat-eating dinosaur, paleontologists have determined, that thrived approximately 90-million years ago when India and Madagascar were still one landmass, isolated from the rest of the world. This discovery marks the first new prehistoric species unearthed in Madagascar in nearly a decade and assists with the connection between evolutionary points of animals in both countries.
“The most intriguing thing for me is that it fills a major gap in what we know about the history of dinosaurs in Madagascar,” said paleontologist Andrew Farke. “It shortens it by about 20 million years. It would have been a meat-eater, walking on two legs about the size of a large cow, with a tail.”
Joe Sertich, the curator of the dinosaur exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science was the one to make the exciting discovery. According to Sertich, the Dahalokely tokana was a close relative of a group of dinosaurs known as the Abelisauridae, which resided in the southern continents of the age.
“This just reinforces the importance of exploring new areas around the world where undiscovered dinosaur species are still waiting.” Sertich told BBC News.
**Photo credit: BBC News