|Name Translation||Mahajanga lizard|
|Period||Late Cretaceous (???-65 mya)|
Majungasaurus (pronounced /məˌdʒʌŋɡəˈsɔrəs/ mah-jung-gə-sor-əs "Mahajanga lizard") is a medium sized 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 the 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.
In Popular CultureMajungasaurus makes an appearance in Jurassic Fight Club where a male wants to mate with the female, but the female will not tolerate it because of her young. The male kills the juvenile but gets killed himself.
Majungasaurus also starred in Dinosaur Revolution, where a Majungasaurus appears to almost step on a Rahonavis and attacks a Rapetosaurus. Later, two baby Majungasaurus chase the Rahonavis up a tree, but they couldn't climb and they ended up as food for two Beezlebufo.
The dinosaur finally appears (so far) in Last Killers from BBC Planet Dinosaur, where a female Majungasaurus and her young scare away a flock of Rahonavis for a carcass. A male soon appears, wanting to also feast, but the female becomes aggressive and the male ends up as food himself for the female and her young.