Majungasaurus (Majunga dome)
René Lavocat - 1955
Estimated up to 8 meters long
M. crenatissimus (type)
Madagascar - Maevarano Formation
Late Cretaceous, 70 million years ago
Majungasaurus is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, around 70 million years ago, in what is now Madagascar. Its name means “Majunga dome”, which is a reference to the region in which it was discovered.
Majungasaurus was a large theropod, measuring up to 8 meters (26 feet) in length and weighing around 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs). It is known for its large, robust skull, which had a deep snout and powerful jaws filled with sharp, serrated teeth. It is believed that Majungasaurus was a top predator in its ecosystem, feeding on a variety of prey, including other dinosaurs.
One of the most interesting aspects of Majungasaurus is the evidence of cannibalism that has been found in its fossils. In 2007, researchers discovered a Majungasaurus skull with tooth marks that matched the size and spacing of its own teeth, indicating that it had been bitten by another Majungasaurus. This is the first evidence of cannibalism in a large theropod dinosaur, and it suggests that Majungasaurus may have occasionally preyed on members of its own species.
In addition to its cannibalistic tendencies, Majungasaurus is also notable for the unusual shape of its skull. It has been suggested that the thickened bones on the top of its head may have been used in intraspecific combat, with males using their domed skulls as battering rams to establish dominance and compete for mates.
Today, Majungasaurus is an important and fascinating dinosaur that provides insights into the complex behaviors and interactions of these ancient animals. Its discovery and subsequent research have helped to shed light on the ecological relationships between dinosaurs and the unique adaptations that allowed them to survive and thrive in their respective environments.