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|Scientific name :||Rahonavis ostromi|
|Time period :||Late Cretaceous period|
|Primary diet :||omnivore|
|In the series|
|Appearances :||Survival Tactics|
Rahonavis is a genus of bird-like theropods from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian, about 70 mya) of what is now northwestern Madagascar. It is known from a partial skeleton (UA 8656) found by Catherine Forster and colleagues in Maevarano Formation rocks at a quarry near Berivotra, Mahajanga Province. Rahonavis was a small predator, at about 70 centimetres (2.3 ft) long, with the typical Velociraptor-like raised sickle claw on the second toe.
The name Rahonavis means, approximately, "cloud menace bird", from Malagasy rahona (RA-hoo-na, "cloud" or "menace") + Latin avis "bird". The specific name, R. ostromi, was coined in honor of John Ostrom.
Discovery and species
The fossilized remains of Rahonavis were first recovered in 1995 by a joint expedition of SUNY and the University of Antananarivo, near the village of Berivotra. Most geological formations in this area are covered in dense grass, making identification of fossils difficult. However, when a portion of hillside was exposed by fire, the remains of a giant titanosaur were revealed. It was during the excavation of this find that paleontologists discovered the bones of Rahonavis among the bones of the much larger dinosaur. Rahonavis is known from this single specimen, consisting of the hind limbs, trunk, portions of the tail (all of which were found articulated), as well as portions of the wing and shoulder bones. Rahonavis was one-fifth larger than the closely related Archaeopteryx, about the size of a modern raven.
The lack of well-documented relatives of this species nonwithstanding, a single thoracic vertebra (NMC 50852) most similar to those of R. ostromi was found in mid-Cretaceous sediments (Albian/Cenomanian, c. 100 to 99 million years ago) of the Kem Kem region,Morocco. Lacking the pleurocoels found in Rahonavis and having a larger neural canal, it appears to belong to a different genus. Although former character can vary in species of the same genus, in individual vertebrae of the same animal, and ontogenetically, the distance in space and time suggests that whatever this specimen may be, it does not belong into Rahonavis.
More recent analysis of rahonavis shows it was a paravian instead of dromaeosaur.
A Rahonavis appeared in the third episode of Dinosaur Revolution (Survival Tactics). Then it glided and landed on the back of a Rapetosaurus. Later it was chased by two young Majungasaurus babies but it ran into a tree. The individual in this episode appears to have the ability to mimic other sounds it hears, as it mimics a Rapetosaurus, a Majungasaurus, and a Beelzebufo. These vocalizations, however, sometimes end up attracting an individual of the species mimicked, often times causing another animal to be killed (such as when the Rahonavis mimicked the calls of a Majungasaurus and almost got itself trampled by the Majungasaurus and ended up with the Rapetosaurus attacked.) Rahonavis can also use the vocalizations it has mimicked to get out of sticky situations, as was the case when it got chased up into a tree by two young Majungasaurus and mimicked the croaks of a Beelzebufo, causing the two young Majungasaurus to be eaten by a pair of Beelzebufos.