The jaws of Masiakasaurus suggest a similar feeding strategy, with the front teeth used to capture and manipulate animal prey, and the blade-like rear teeth then slicing and tearing the victim into bite-sized chunks. As to the nature of the preferred prey of this little dinosaurian carnivore, potential candidates include insects, fish, lizards, snakes, and mammals.
Recognizing a critical need for education and health care, expedition leader David Krause has worked with colleagues to form the Ankizy Fund, a non-profit society dedicated to building schools and clinics in remote areas of Madagascar. Shown here are two children from the village of Berivorta. Copyright Scott Sampson, University of Utah.
Masiakasaurus and Majungatholus, the two known Malagasy theropods, are members of an enigmatic group known as abelisauroids, and recovered only on southern hemisphere landmasses. In particular, the fossils of Masiakasaurus share a number of specialized characteristics with predatory dinosaurs found in Argentina and India. This finding indicates that a previously unrecognized radiation of small-bodied predatory dinosaurs spread across much of the southern hemisphere toward the end of dinosaur times, paralleling the Late Cretaceous radiations of small-bodied theropods (such as dromaeosaurids and ornithomimids) in the northern hemisphere.
In addition, the broad geographic distribution of these small-bodied theropods parallels that of their larger-bodied cousins, the abelisaurids, a find
Contact: Patti Carpenter
University of Utah