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Troodont Tooth from India

April 21, 2013

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n4/abs/ncomms2716.html

Suffice to say, this is quite surprising, considering that, unlike other deinonychosaurs, troodontids were otherwise virtually absent from Gondwanna.

This offers two possibilites:

– There was a lineage of troodontids living in the southern continents and they simply weren’t preserved, which is quite possible, as the Late Cretaceous fossil reccord from the southern continents is notoriously poor anyways.

– They were unique indian endemics, presumably having arrived to it from Africa – which did had a closer connection to Laurasia, as faunal interchanges were Europe did occur.

It’s also highly likely that it was simply some sort of dinosaur or crocodillian – or even a ledpidosaur – that convergently developed troodont-like teeth, though I suppose such a close resemblance would be that much of a coincidence.

Another deinonychosaur, the flying Rahonavis, coexisted with this troodontid, and I am even tempted to suggest that both animals are in truth closely related: either Rahonavis is actually a volant troodontid (which frankly is the least I expect, given it’s recent examination outside of Unenlagiinae; it would also explain this isolated case of gondwannan troodontids, as they probably flew their way into India-Madagascar), or that the toorontid teeth actually belongs to a rahonavid converging on troodonts. Considering my previous speculations turned true…

At any rate, India-Madagascar definitely was an interesting region during the Late Cretaceous. Among other things, we have the ungulate-like mammal Kharmerungulatum, a possible late living stegosaur (Dravidosaurus is actually a chimaera) and at least three distinct lineages of palaeognaths. If modern Madagascar is the bearer of the Cenozoic’s weirdest fauna, then it’s Mesozoic predecessor was just as alien a place, one of the best examples of the bizarre nature of island fauna.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2013 11:35 am

    Would you mind to provide paper reference for the “Dravidosaurus is a chimera” claim? Is very interesting, but wouldn’t hold if there was no paper backing it xD

    Also, hadn’t Indo-Madagascar split up in the Maastrichtian?

  2. Hayaba permalink
    April 30, 2013 2:46 pm

    In Dino-Ken’s mythical earth,this is his explaination of Africa’s Dinosaurs:
    As for the Dinosaurs of Africa – they are basically the last surviving members of the non-avian Dinosaurs and they are located with in an isolated valley within the Congo region. The vast majority of non-avian Dinosaurs went extinct in the Cretaceous-Paleocene extinction event, However there were a few species which survived in remote isolated areas of the planet. Such survivors were also small is size, and likely island based. Still only a tiny handful of species survived to the Holocene. These species are dwarfs compared to their Cretaceous counter parts. Also reports of ceratopsians, spinosaurs, and stegosaurs are over exaggerated. As the dinosaurs all appear to be forms which were native to Africa and Europe in late Cretaceous. So basically looking a titanosaurs, abelisaurs, and ornithipods.

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