Don't cry for Tyrannosaurus rex and its teensy-weensy arms. It was in good company in the dinosaur kingdom with a recently discovered new species found in Madagascar. After a nearly 10-year dino drought on the island, two researchers uncovered the Dahalokely tokana, a creature with big back legs and itsy-bitsy front arms.
The critter was about as tall as a human male, but had a length of 9 to 14 feet. What helped the researchers peg it as a new species were some unique characteristics of the vertebrae, including the shape of cavities on the side. For dinosaur species, that's a lot like finding a fingerprint.
Besides being a new species, Dahalokely is also helping to fill in some puzzling gaps in the fossil record for Madagascar. "We had always suspected that abelisauroids were in Madagascar 90 million years ago, because they were also found in younger rocks on the island. Dahalokely nicely confirms this hypothesis," said project leader Andrew Farke, curator of paleontology at the Alf Museum.… Read more