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Tuesday, 22nd of August, 2017
The database has been scoured and today's daily dinosaur is...

DAHALOKELY

a meat-eating abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar.
dahalokely_silhouette.png
Pronunciation: dah-HAH-loo-KAY-lee
Meaning: Small bandit
Author/s: Farke et al. (2013)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Antsiranana, Madagascar
Chart Position: 690

Dahalokely tokana

Paleontologists reckon that Madagascar separated from the last landmass that it was still attached to — India — around 89 million years ago, and since then it's been sat in the Indian Ocean developing its weird and wonderful critters undisturbed. So unique is its eco-system that 80% of its current species are found nowhere else on earth, and this figure was 100% in the case of its known dinosaurs. But hopes were high, in 2007, that within what would come to be known as Dahalokely were some clues regarding the origins of its particular branch of the dinosaurian family tree.

Dahalokely is the oldest dinosaur currently known from the Cretaceous (94–89 mya) of Madagascar which also makes it the only known Madagascan dinosaur old enough to have lived there while it was still joined to India. Its bones sports features that make it a shoo-in abelisauroid, possibly a noasaurid abelisauroid, but they didn't give up any more secrets. Unfortunately, seven vertebrae and a couple of ribs ain't enough to show if Dahalokely is more closely related to later-living Madagascan abelisauroids or those from India, whether it's the ancestor of all abelisauroids from both areas, or if it was just an evolutionary dead end that went extinct without descendants.

(Lonely Small Bandit)Etymology
Dahalokely (dah-HAH-loo-KAY-lee) is derived from the Malagasy "dahalo" (bandit) and "kely" (small), in reference to its small size relative to many other abelisauroids.
The species epithet, tokana (too-KAH-nah), is also Malagasy and means "lonely", because it lived at a time when Madagascar's only connection was to India, and the two formed a single big island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, isolated from the rest of the world.
Discovery
The remains of Dahalokely were discovered at Ampandriambengy in the informally-tagged "Ambolafotsy Formation", near Antsiranana City (aka Diego-Suarez), Diego (Ambilobe) Basin, northernmost Madagascar, by Joe Sertich in 2007. They were excavated in 2007 and 2010 by Sertich and Ratsimbaholison, and prepared for study by Joseph Groenke of Stony Brook University.
The holotype (UA 9855) includes one neck and six back vertebrae, one complete rib, and some rib fragments.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Turonian
Age range: 94-89 mya
Vital Stats:
Est. max. length: 4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 200 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Andrew A. Farke & Joseph J. W. Sertich (2013) "An abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from the Turonian of Madagascar". PLoS ONE 8(4): e62047.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DAHALOKELY :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 22nd Aug 2017.
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