This Jurassic Predator Had the Body of a Crocodile and the Teeth of a T. Rex


Concept art of Razanandrongobe sakalavae. Image: Fabio Manucci
The Mahajanga Basin produces yet another evolutionary weirdo.

By Becky Ferreira | MOTHERBOARD

What has the teeth of a tyrannosaur, the frame of a crocodile, and a „ghost lineage“ that dates back over a million years? The extinct Jurassic predator Razanandrongobe sakalavae, a mysterious extinct species unearthed in northwestern Madagascar that has finally found its place in the evolutionary tree of life, according to new research published Tuesday in the open access journalPeerJ.

Nicknamed „Razana,“ this large carnivore was first identified in a 2006 paperauthored by paleontologists Cristiano Dal Sasso and Simone Maganuco of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano (Natural History Museum of Milan), along with researcher Giovanni Pasini. Based on the fossils, which consisted of large serrated teeth and some jawbone fragments, the researchers concluded that this was a major predator in this Madagascan ecosystem some 166 million years ago.

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