|Name Translation||Mahajanga lizard|
Majungasaurus (pronounced /məˌdʒʌŋɡəˈsɔrəs/ mah-jung-gə-sor-əs "Mahajanga lizard") is a genus of abelisaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in Madagascar from 70 to 65.5 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Only one species (M. crenatissimus) has been identified. This dinosaur was briefly called Majungatholus, a name which is now considered a junior synonym of Majungasaurus.
Like other abelisaurids, Majungasaurus was a bipedal predator with a short snout. Although the forelimbs are not completely known, they were very short, while the hindlimbs were longer and very stocky. It can be distinguished from other abelisaurids by its wider skull, the very rough texture and thickened bone on the top of its snout, and the single rounded horn on the roof of its skull, which was originally mistaken for the dome of a pachycephalosaur. Other abelisaurids have different features, its larger cousin Carnotaurus had two large brow horns on its head while some others like Rugops or Abelisaurus lack the odd features on their skulls. It also had more teeth in both upper and lower jaws than most abelisaurids.
Known from several well-preserved skulls and abundant skeletal material, Majungasaurus has recently become one of the best-studied theropod dinosaurs from the Southern Hemisphere. It appears to be most closely related to abelisaurids from India rather than South America or continental Africa, a fact which has important biogeographical implications. Majungasaurus was the apex predator in its ecosystem, mainly preying on sauropods like Rapetosaurus, and is also the only dinosaur for which direct evidence of cannibalism is known. When attacking Majungasaurus would bite and not let go, since its teeth curved backward and it had nasty flesh tearing jaws.