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Dahalokely, new abelisauroid theropod from Cretaceous of Madagascar
From: Ben Creisler
A new paper from PLoS ONE:
Andrew A. Farke & Joseph J. W. Sertich (2013)
An abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from the Turonian of Madagascar.
PLOS ONE 8(4).
Geophysical evidence strongly supports the complete isolation of India
and Madagascar (Indo-Madagascar) by ~100 million years ago, though
sparse terrestrial fossil records from these regions prior to ~70
million years ago have limited insights into their biogeographic
history during the Cretaceous. A new theropod dinosaur, Dahalokely
tokana, from Turonian-aged (~90 million years old) strata of
northernmost Madagascar is represented by a partial axial column.
Autapomorphies include a prominently convex prezygoepipophyseal lamina
on cervical vertebrae and a divided infraprezygapophyseal fossa
through the mid-dorsal region, among others. Phylogenetic analysis
definitively recovers the species as an abelisauroid theropod and
weakly as a noasaurid. Dahalokely is the only known dinosaur from the
interval during which Indo-Madagascar likely existed as a distinct
landmass, but more complete material is needed to evaluate whether or
not it is more closely related to later abelisauroids of
Indo-Madagascar or those known elsewhere in Gondwana.