Stony Brook University Logo and Title
Photo: Stony Brook banners in front of trees
News Page Title Bar
 
 Top News
 General University News
 Medical Center / Health Care
 Research
 Faculty/Student Awards
 Conferences & Events
 
 Experts
 University Experts
 Health Care Experts
 
 SB Press Clips
 
 Contact Media Relations

General University News
Press Release


Stony Brook Paleontologist Reunites With 70-Million Year-Old Dinosaur from Madagascar

Wed, 10 May 2006, 10:19:00

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 10, 2006 -- On Wednesday, May 17, at 12:30 pm, Stony Brook University will celebrate the installation of an exact replica of the fossil skeleton of
Science Magazine cover featuring Majungasaurus
Majungasaurus crenatissimus. The skeleton is a composite of specimens collected in 1996 on the island of Madagascar by a team of Stony Brook University paleontologists led by Dr. David Krause of the Department of Anatomical Sciences. The replica is the property of Stony Brook University and is the only one of its kind in North America.

The 70 million-year-old meat-eating theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period is a very distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex. The skull is one of the best-preserved and most complete dinosaur skulls ever found. The replica is approximately 21 feet long and stands about seven feet high.

The discovery was featured on the cover of the May 15, 1998 issue of the prestigious journal Science. It allowed Krause and his colleagues to reach some exciting new conclusions about the plate tectonic history of the southern super-continent of Gondwana (a composite continent, made up of South America, Africa, Antarctica, India, and Australia, and Madagascar); and that dinosaurs, like many living animals, were cannibals.

"Majungasaurus was clearly the top predator of its time on Madagascar," said Krause. "Interestingly, numerous bones of Majungasaurus exhibit tooth marks that can be attributed only to Majungasaurus itself. This provides the most conclusive evidence ever discovered for cannibalism in dinosaurs," he said.

Proving that dinosaurs are fun and interesting to people of all age groups and maturity levels, attending the installation will be children from local school districts and day care centers, as well as cabinet members from Stony Brook University and President Shirley Strum Kenny.

Artist's reconstruction of Majungasaurus
"This extraordinary replica represents one of the most remarkable fossil discoveries ever made, and we are happy to share it with the public," said Kenny. "I am delighted to have it here, at the very core of our university, where I and many others will see it every day."

The installation ceremony will take place in the Stony Brook University Administration Building Lobby on West Campus and is open to the public. For more information call 631-444-2899 ext. 2.


Fast Facts

  • Majungasaurus crenatissimus (formerly known as Majungatholus atopus), is a 70 million-year-old meat-eating theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period.

  • Stretching to about 25 feet in length, Majungasaurus is a very distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.

  • The replica is approximately 21 feet long and stands about seven feet high.

  • The skeleton is a composite of specimens collected in 1996 on the island of Madagascar by a team of Stony Brook University paleontologists led by Dr. David Krause of the Department of Anatomical Sciences.

  • The skull is one of the best-preserved and most complete dinosaur skulls ever found.

  • Majungasaurus is a very unusual theropod. It has a short snout, a thick skull roof, and a horn-like bump protruding from the top of its skull.

  • The various large holes on the side of its skull housed structures like the nostrils, eyes, jaw-closing muscles, and ears.

  • Majungasaurus walked and ran on powerful hind legs; its front legs were diminutive.

  • Majungasaurus was clearly the top predator of its time on Madagascar.

  • Interestingly, numerous bones of Majungasaurus exhibit tooth marks that can be attributed only to Majungasaurus itself.

  • This provides the most conclusive evidence ever discovered for cannibalism in dinosaurs.

  • Majungasaurus will be on display in the Administration Building of the Stony Brook University West Campus indefinitely.

  • In 2005, a replica of Majungasaurus was on display in the National Science Museum in Tokyo and several other venues in Japan as part of a traveling exhibition entitled, "The Dinosaur Expo 2005: Evolution of Dinosaurs from their origin to birds."

    --30--

    © Stony Brook University 2006

    Top of Page



  •