Fun Majungasaurus Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Nov 30, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Read these amazing Majungasaurus facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

When people say that dinosaurs are extinct it is not quite right as most birds have evolved from these dinosaurs. For example, the pigeon is a relative of T.Rex. The evolution history of dinosaurs is one of the poorly studied topics.

There are almost 11,000 species of birds that have evolved from dinosaurs. Both of them shared quite a lot of features like the tail feathers, respiratory system, and reproduction process. The Majungasaurus was a theropod that had an avian style respiratory system.

It was a carnivorous animal whose diet mainly included Sauropods. It lived 65-70 million years ago in Madagascar.

It is well known for the single horn present on top of the skull and its extremely short arms. Majungasaurus was initially known as Majungatholus. It is closely related to Carnotaurus.

To know more about Majungasaurus keep reading and do check out our other related articles on Xenotarsosaurus and Chilantaisaurus.

Majungasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Majungasaurus'?

The name and evolution history of Majungasaurus, originally known as Majungatholus was given by Deperet in the year 1896. It is pronounced mah-jung-ga-sor-es .

What type of dinosaur was a Majungasaurus?

Majungasaurus was a theropod dinosaur belonging to the family Abelisauridae. Theropod, meaning beast footed dinosaurs were a diverse group of bipedal dinosaurs.

The ancestors were a carnivorous group but the later evolved ones included herbivores, omnivores, insectivores, and piscivores. They originally appeared in the late Triassic period, which was 230 million years ago. Abelisaurdae meaning Abels lizard is one of the families whose population increased during the late Cretaceous era.

In which geological period did the Majungasaurus roam the earth?

Majungasaurus roamed the earth during the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous period. Belgian geologist André Hubert Dumont first used the term Maastrichtian in scholarly literature in 1849.

The Maastrichtian is generally split into two substages, the Upper and Lower, as well as three ammonite biozones. This epoch was the Mesozoic era's third, last, and longest period. The Cretaceous period is split into two ages, the Early Cretaceous and the Late Cretaceous.

The latter is well recognized due to the catastrophic extinction that occurred. The climate was warmer during this time period.

When did the Majungasaurus become extinct?

Majungasaurus became extinct during the Cretaceous Paleogene extinction event. It was a major extinction that occurred around 66 million years ago and wiped out nearly 80 percent of life on Earth.

According to evidence, the major reason was most likely an asteroid collision with Earth, which produced a series of catastrophes such as forest fires and tsunamis, resulting in a long winter period. This caused the planet to go dark and disrupted photosynthesis, resulting in an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Where did Majungasaurus live?

Majungasaurus thrived in river valleys and semi arid areas of Madagascar. It also lived on coastal flood plains divided by sandy river channels.

What was the Majungasaurus' habitat?

Majungasaurus lived in Madagascar, Africa. Its fossils have been discovered in regions like the Province de Mahajanga.

Who did Majungasaurus live with?

Majungasaurus was a solitary animal for the most part. But it was not uncomfortable associating in small groups that consisted of five to six members. Since the probability of hunting their own species was high and owing to the aggressive nature they preferred a secluded life.

How long did a Majungasaurus live?

Majungasaurus lived 66-70 million years ago. As per estimations, its life span was about 60-70 years.

How did they reproduce?

Majungasaurus was oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs.

Majungasaurus Fun Facts

What did Majungasaurus look like?

Manjungasaurus was closely related to Abelisaurus from India and shared a lot of features with them. One of the rare features was the horn on top of the skull.

It was bipedal (moving on two legs) with short and strong legs. There were four fingers on its forelimbs and hind limbs. The Majungasaurus skull ornamentation had a pair of the crest and small spike like structures on the head.

Their arms were tinier than that of the Tyrannosaurus rex. It had a small snout and wide skull. Like most mammals, it also went through tooth replacement every now and then.

As in Abelisaraus, the snout was wider in these dinosaurs too. This species was very strong with thick nose and neck bones.

Majungasaurus had replaceable teeth and short arms.

How many bones did a Majungasaurus have?

Dinosaurs were capable of having as many as 200 bones. It is highly unlikely to retrieve all of the bones during the expedition as most of them are damaged. Only partial bones are available with which reconstruction is done. Despite the reconstruction, it is not possible to compute the exact number of bones a dinosaur had.

How did they communicate?

They probably communicated by using sounds like hoots and growls like most of the other dinosaurs. The horn on its head also aided in attracting females. Though the bone structure did not facilitate movements and only restricted it there is still a possibility that this species might have used certain body movements to convey messages as well.

How big was the Majungasaurus?

It was a medium length theropod. The head-to-tail length of most of them was around 19.7–23.0 ft (6-7 m) however fossils suggest that some of them might have been as long as 26.2 ft (8 m). Their height was approximately 6 ft (2 m). The Majungasaurus size is comparable to that of the Carnotaurus, a relative.

How fast could a Majungasaurus move?

It had avian style lungs which helped these animals inhale oxygen rich air without mixing the exhaled carbon dioxide. Now, this was highly efficient while moving.

Though they were not sted fast they were still capable of easily running at the speed of sauropods. One of the major restrictions in their movements was the head movements. The floccules, which help the brain sync the head and eye movements, were very small.

This acted as a major drawback. Scientists noted that females were faster than males and were able to travel 15 mi (24140 m) per hour.

How much did a Majungasaurus weigh?

The weight of Majungasaurus was around 1.2 t (1100 kg). It was approximately 500 times heavier than Compsognathus, which is the smallest dinosaur.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no evidence for sexual dimorphism in these dinosaurs. Hence they didn't have any specific male and female names to differentiate them. They are both known as Majungasaurus.

What would you call a baby Majungasaurus?

The baby Majungasaurus did not have any special names either. Similar to all other dinosaur species it can be referred to as chicks, hatching, nestlings, or juveniles.

What did they eat?

This predator was a carnivore that mainly fed on meat. Usually, theropods take several bites to catch and kill their prey but Majungasaurus just took one bite and held the prey down until it died similar to that of a modern day cat.

Its diet consisted of other herbivorous dinosaurs. Their main prey was sauropods like Rapetosaurus. Other than that it did eat dinosaurs like Rahonavis and Masikasaurus.

The bite marks on several Majungasaurus perfectly fit the tooth of the same species which indicates that they also hunted their own species. However, there is still a debate on whether they actually hunted their living relative or just fed on the carcasses of the already dead ones.

How aggressive were they?

Majungasaurus was the apex predator in the Late Cretaceous period. Apart from one or two large herbivores, there weren't any other dinosaurs overpowering their strength.

Hence it was very aggressive by nature. There is solid evidence of cannibalism including bite marks, which only proves that nobody was safe around them. They also had a specific technique for devouring their prey which is biting the prey until it subdues.

This is a ruthless technique. The female dinosaurs were said to be more violent as they had the need to protect the young ones.

Did you know...

Majungasaurus is one of the few carnivore dinosaurs exhibiting cannibalism.

When the fossil of Majungasaurus was first discovered it was thought to be Pachycephalasaurus, which is also known as the boneheaded dinosaur.

Majungasaurus like many other animals loved gnawing on bones. Many of the discovered specimens had serious injuries including one with a broken toe.

Researchers isolated the teeth fossils of Majungasairis and found out that they had growth lines on their teeth which was similar to the tree rings. The only difference was that the lines in this dinosaur were deposited every year.

Though Majungasarus was not closely related to lizards like most of the dinosaurs it did have a pelvic bone structure similar to that of the lizards.

The nasal and frontal horns of Majungasaurus were filled with air sacs to probably reduce the weight.

The well preserved Majungasaurus skeleton material makes Majungasaurus one of the most well-studied dinosaurs.

Why are they called Majungasaurus?

The bones were misidentified; it was thought these bones belonged to megalosaurus. Later the name was changed to Manjungasaurus Renatissimus.

Hence it was initially called Megalosaurus by Deperet in 1896. The genus name was derived from the Latin word crenatus meaning notched and the suffix issimus means most. This was in reference to the numerous serrations on both the front and rear edges of the teeth.

Manjungasaurus means Mahajanga lizard as numerous fragmentary remains were from Mahajanga Province in northwestern Madagascar, Africa. The dinosaur was formerly known as Majungatholus meaning Majunga dome.

How many specimens of Majungasaurus were discovered?

Around 20 specimens of Majungasarus have been discovered so far.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Rahonavis facts and Becklespinax facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Majungasaurus coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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