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Dinosaur Species Discovered in Madagascar: 'Lonely Small Bandit,' History's Missing Link

•, Michael Briggs
 Scientists uncovered the fossils of Dahalokely tokana, which stands for "lonely small bandit," near the city of Antsiranana in northernmost Madagascar. The find is the first in nearly a decade for paleontologists on the island, and the discovery is being noted as particularly unique for the species' cavities on the sides of the vertebrae, which are unlike anything unearthed before.

The carnivorous species "stood on two feet" and was the "size of a cow," according to Andrew Farke of the Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, California. The find of Dahalokely tokana effectively shortened a fossil gap record nearly 20 million years. Up to this discovery, a 95 million year gap in the fossil record existed.

The 'lonely bandits' have also provided scientists with a missing link to species of dinosaurs that existed on the land mass following the separation of India and Madagascar.

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