Classification: Theropoda, Neoceratosauria, Abelisauria, Noasauridae
Species: M. knopfleri
Masiakasaurus would have fed on carrion, insects, fish, lizards, snakes, and small mammals.
Masiakasaurus had the typical body form of a small theropod but with extremely specialized teeth and jaws giving it a buck-toothed look. The first tooth of the lower jaw is orientated almost horizontally, projecting forward instead of upward with the subsequent teeth angled increasingly upward until the sixth tooth; from this point backward, all the teeth point straight up. The teeth themselves are unique. The teeth at the back of the jaw are typical of theropods, being flattened and serrated; those at the front are longer and almost conical, with hooked tips and only tiny serrations. These features are otherwise unknown among theropod dinosaurs, which tend to have teeth of the same type, front and back. This strange dentition resembles that of some living mammals.
Length: 1.8 m (6 ft.)
Weight: 35 kg (80 lbs.)
Masiakasaurus was discovered by Sampson, Carrano and Forster in 2001. It is known from multiple individuals (at least six, possibly 10) preserving about 65% of the skeleton.
Found in Madagascar where it shared the seasonally dry floodplains, coastal swamps, and marshes with the large carnivore Mapusaurus, the sauropod Rapetosaurus and diverse crocodilians.