BBC Planet Dinosaur Wiki
Majungasaurus 1


'Majunga Lizard'


Late Cretaceous


7 Metres





Majungasaurus was a large theropod dinosaur ,an abelisaurid, that lived in what is now Madagascar during the Late Cretaceous Period. Its name derives from Mahajunga (Majunga) Province in Madagascar where its fossils were found. Majungasaurus would have preyed on large sauropods like rapteosaurus. Although Tyrannosaurids ruled in the northern hemisphere, Abelisaurids such as Majungasaurus reigned in the southern hemisphere. As an Abelisaurid, Majungasaurus had a short broad snout with a mouth filled with small, but strong teeth. Its also had a distinctive horn on top of its head and very short front limbs. Many Majungasaurus skulls and bones have been found and studied throughout Madagascar. In fact, paleontogists have found so many bones that Majugasaurus is one of the best studied dinosaurs in the world of paleontology. Nearly complete skeletons of this dinosaur enabled scientists to even reconstruct the dinosaur's respiratory system! Majungasaurus's hunting technique was also unique: the broad snout of Majungasaurus allowed the animal to bite and grip firmly on its victim. Scientists also reveal that the skull of Majungasaurus could withstand a large amount of stress and its jaw can deliver a powerful crushing bite. This meant that like a lion, Majungasaurus would bite firmly onto its struggling victim while crushing the animal's wind pipe and snapping its spine. Due to its formideable hunting technique and relative size, Majungasaurus was the apex predator of Late Cretaceous Madagascar. However, though Madagscar was already an island at that time, the climate was warmer and droughts were more frequent, making the landscape arid. To survive the periods of drought, Majungasaurus would use its keen sense of smell to trace sauropd corpses at long distances.


The male Majungasaurus, severely wounded by the female.

But Sauropods weren't the only edible options on its menu. Recently discovered bones with bite marks from other Majungasaurus prove they ate each other. This was the first direct evidence of cannibalism found in dinosaurs, although the Coelophysis remains at Ghost Ranch of Triassic Period age had given Paleontologists suspicions for decades (juvenile Coelophysis preserved inside the stomach region of adults)

Planet Dinosaur Files Majungasaurus

. In the episode "The Last Killers", a female Majungasaurus searchs a carcass in the arid desert with her two juveniles. They manage to find a halved carcass of sauropod and they easily scare off the hords of Rahonavis. However, as the bearly start eating, a male Majungasaurus appears in attempt to steal the carcass. Due to the male's larger size, the female tries to scare off the male, but the stubborn male holds its ground, eventually winning its prize . As the female walks away to find another carcass, one of her children spots a piece of meat on the ground. The male quickly notices and easily scares off the juvenile to eat the meat. Suddenly, the female lounges orward and grabs the male's neck with her powerful jaws. The male moves around desperatly to loosen her grip, but the female holds firmly while crushing the male's neck. Shorly after the male broke free from her jaws, the female attacks him again, eventually killing him. The female and her chicks eventually feast on the male's dead body.