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Dhaka Tribune

Meet the lonely small bandit

Update : 21 Apr 2013, 07:00 AM

A new species of dinosaur called the “lonely small bandit” has been discovered in Madagascar, The Telegraph reported.

Dahalokely tokana is thought to have been between nine and 14 feet long and lived around 90m years ago.

Its name, derived from the Malagasy language, refers to the animal's carnivorous diet and the fact that it evolved when India and Madagascar were one land mass cut off from the rest of the world.

Scientists believe it belonged to a family of dinosaurs known as the abelisaurids, bipedal dinosaurs that thrived during the Cretaceous period.

Dahalokely could be an ancestor of later dinosaurs that lived both in Madagascar and India, said the researchers writing in the peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science.

It was believed to have been carnivorous and predates the next youngest dinosaur in the area by 20m years.

Lead scientist Dr Andrew Farke, from the Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology in California, US, said the find was of particular importance as it was evidence that the abelisaurid family of dinosaur had been in Madagascar at the time.

“We had always suspected that abelisauroids were in Madagascar 90m years ago, because they were also found in younger rocks on the island. Dahalokey nicely confirms this hypothesis,” he said.

Madagascar has been isolated from the Indian subcontinent for the past 88m years.

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