Majungasaurus (meaning "Mahajanga lizard") was a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived near the end of the Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago.
Majungasaurus appeared in the first episode "Cannibal Dinosaur" and later in the final episode "Armageddon" and the episode Biggest Killers (episode).
The dinosaur known as Majungasaurus stood almost 3 meters tall, measured up to approximately 8 meters long and weighed more than a ton. Majungasaurus also had horn-like protrusions (probably brightly colored in the case of the males) covering its skull. This could have been for a courtship display, as seen in some modern birds, to which Majungasaurus has a clear link.
Female Majungasaurus were smaller and the same general shape as the males, with rough horned heads (although likely less brightly colored for females), short arms and legs, powerful tails and sharp teeth.
Majungasaurus used its bony, bumpy head to butt its enemies head-to-head or head-to-flank, or wielded its heavy tail like a baseball bat. It overcame its weaknesses--relatively short, flimsy arms, short legs and poor vision--with its powerful jaw and its mouthful of sharp, serrated teeth.
When a male approached, the females Majungasaurus would stand her ground, turn to show her massive size and flash her teeth, which she would use to attack ferociously if her young were in danger.
Majungasaurus was at the top of the food chain in its region, preying on titanosaurs and other sauropod dinosaurs (gigantic, long-necked plant-eaters). When food was scarce, there is also evidence of scavenging and cannibalism.
- The dinosaur is now renamed as Majungasaurus, it was first called Majungatholus since its skull was mistaken as a pachycephalosaur.
- Scientists have guessed that the female Majungasaurus might have been faster and more agile than the male, and a more aggressive warrior, in order to defend her young. Yet, they could only run approximately 15 miles per hour.
- By examining a 67-million-year-old Majungasaurus fossil, scientists confirmed that theropod dinosaurs had respiratory systems similar to that of birds, with flexible air sacs that allow the lungs a constant supply of air instead of requiring inward and outward breaths (like mammals).
- Some inaccuracies in the show's depiction include the bulky legs and the size and posture of the hands. In reality, the hands were almost useless, being reduced to only a vestigial organ. Its legs were also very light, allowing for more speed.