Lavanify is a genus of mammal from the extinct suborder Gondwanatheria that lived in Madagascar during the "Age of Dinosaurs", specifically during the Upper Cretaceous period. The position of Gondwanatherians within class Mammalia is not yet clear.
The genus and species were named by David Krause, G. V. R. Prasad, Wighart von Koenigswald, Ashok Sahni, and Frederick Grine in 1997. Lavanify means "long tooth".
The species Lavanify miolaka
was discovered in Madagascar in deposits dated to the Maastrichtian stage
of the Upper Cretaceous period.
This type genus is based a tooth, which was found while quarrying for the skull of a dinosaur, Majungasaurus. A second specimen was also discovered and assigned to the species (referred). As of April 2003, L. miolaka is the only named, non-South American member of Gondwanatheria, although further, unnamed fossils are known from India and Antarctica.
From Krause et al, 1997, p.504:
- "The teeth of Lavanify differ from those of the only previously known sudamericid genera, Gondwanatherium and Sudamerica, in possessing prominent and continuous inter-row sheets of interprismatic matrix in dental enamel and at least one cheek-tooth position that has a single, V-shaped dentine island and lacks enamel on one side of the crown. Lavanify further differs from Gondwanatherium in having cheek-teeth with vertical furrows that extend to the base of the crown and onto the root".
- David W. Krause, G. V. R. Prasad, Wighart von Koenigswald, Ashok Sahni and Frederick E. Grine. (1997) "Cosmopolitanism among gondwanan Late Cretaceous mammals". Nature 390, pages 504–507. (abstract)
- Much of this information has been derived from MESOZOIC MAMMALS: Gondwanatheria, an Internet directory.