Introducing the 'lonely small bandit': new species of dinosaur discovered in Madagascar


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The Independent Online

A new species of dinosaur whose translated name means “lonely small bandit” has been discovered in Madagascar.

Dahalokely tokana was between nine and 14 feet (2.75 to 4.3 metres) long and lived around 90 million years ago.

Its name, derived from the Malagasy language, refers to the animal's carnivorous diet and the fact that it evolved when India and Madagascar were one landmass cut off from the rest of the world.

Scientists believe it belonged to a family of dinosaurs known as the abelisauroids.

Dahalokely could be an ancestor of later dinosaurs that lived both in Madagascar and India, said the researchers writing in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

Lead scientist Dr Andrew Farke, from the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in California, US, said: "We had always suspected that abelisauroids were in Madagascar 90 million years ago, because they were also found in younger rocks on the island. Dahalokey nicely confirms this hypothesis."