Oxalaia

Name: Oxalaia ‭(‬After the deity Oxalá‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ox-ah-lie-ah.
Named By: Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner,‭ ‬Sergio A.K.‭ ‬Azevedeo,‭ ‬Elaine B.‭ ‬Machado,‭ ‬Luciana B.‭ ‬Carvalho‭ & ‬Deise D.R.‭ ‬Henriques‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Spinosauridae,‭ ‬Spinosaurinae.‭
Species: O.‭ ‬quilombensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Estimated between‭ ‬12‭ ‬and‭ ‬14‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Brazil,‭ ‬Cajual Island‭ ‬-‭ ‬Alcântara Formation.
Time period: Cenomanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Single fused premaxillae,‭ ‬fragment of the left maxilla.

       Although only currently known from partial snout remains,‭ ‬it is still enough material to declare Oxalaia a spinosaurid due to the unique nature of the snout.‭ ‬Spinosaurid teeth were also known from the fossil site before the current material was discovered,‭ ‬and may‭ ‬have‭ ‬belonged to Oxalaia in life.‭ ‬With its total length estimated between twelve and fourteen metres,‭ ‬Oxalaia was smaller than Spinosaurus,‭ ‬yet larger than Baryonx and probably also Suchomimus.‭ ‬Also if the larger estimate of fourteen metres ever proves correct then Oxalaia may have been the one of the longest South American theropod dinosaurs,‭ ‬being just a bit bigger than the lowest estimate of Giganotosaurus.‭
       The species name O.‭ ‬quilombensis is in reference to the quilombo settlements on Cajual Island that were originally built by escaped slaves.‭ ‬Along with Irritator,‭ ‬the discovery of Oxalaia is further proof that Africa and South America were once joined during the Mesozoic, something that allowed the spinosaurids to spread over the two continents.


1 - Spinosaurus, 2 - Baryonyx, 3 - Ichthyovenator, 4 - Oxalaia, 5 - Suchomimus, 6 - Irritator.

Further reading
- A new dinosaur (Theropoda, Spinosauridae) from the Cretaceous (Cenomanian) Alcântara Formation, Cajual Island, Brazil. - Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 83(1):99-108. - A. W. A. Kellner, S. A. K. Azevedo, E. B. Machado, L. B. Carvalho & D. D. R. Henriques - 2011.




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