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RAHONAVIS

a meat-eating unenlagiine theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar.
rahonavis
Pronunciation: rah-hoo-NAY-vis
Meaning: Menace-from-the-cloud bird
Author/s: Forster et al. (1998)
Synonyms: Rahona ostromi
First Discovery: Mahajanga, Madagascar
Chart Position: 357

Rahonavis ostromi

Rahonavis was originally pencilled-in as "Rahona" but lasted just 21 days until the authors realised that name was already taken by a much smaller and far less interesting flying beasty—a moth, named by Griveaud way back in 1975. However, by cunningly suffixing "Rahona" ("menace" in Malagasy) with "avis" (bird in Latin) they found a way around the naming issue and managed to perfectly portray both its ability to fly and assumed viscous predatory habits, despite a rather modest size.
(Ostrom's menace-from-the-cloud bird)Etymology
Rahonavis is a combination of the Malagasy "rahona" which can mean cloud or menace, but in this case cloud and menace, and the Latin "avis" meaning bird.
The species epithet, ostromi, honors John Ostrom who breathed new life into Thomas Huxley's much maligned theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs.
Discovery
Rahonavis was discovered in the Anembalemba Member of the Maevarano Formation at Berivotra Village, Mahajanga Province, northwestern Madagascar, by a joint expedition of SUNY (State University of New York) and the University of Antananarivo in 1995. The holotype (UA 8656) is a partial skeleton, recovered from an area "smaller than a letter-sized page", presumably A4. Much of this area is covered in dense grass, but when fire exposed part of a hillside and revealed titanosaur fossils Rahonavis was discovered amongst the remains.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-66 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 0.7 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 1 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• C.A. Forster, S.D. Sampson, L.M. Chiappe & D.W. Krause (1998) "The Theropod Ancestry of Birds: New Evidence from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar".
• C.A. Forster, S.D. Sampson, L.M. Chiappe & D.W. Krause (1998b) "Genus correction".
• L.M. Chiappe (2007) "Glorified Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds"./uk.
• S. D. Sampson (2009) "Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life"./uk.
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs". (Page 138).
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "RAHONAVIS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th May 2017.
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