Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
A fossil toe bone of Joan Wiffen's theropod
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Genus: Mangahouanga
Molina-Pérez & Larramendi, 2016

Mangahouanga, also known as Joan Wiffen's theropod, is an unidentified theropod dinosaur that was found by Joan Wiffen in the Tahora Formation of the Mangahouanga Stream, New Zealand.

Only a tail vertebra was found, and this was thought to be from a type of allosauroid, because the tail vertebra resembled it most. It was most recently described as being an indeterminate theropod.


Reconstruction of Joan Wiffen's Theropod

Reconstruction of Joan Wiffen's Theropod. Credit: Joel Field

Based on the vertebra, Joan Wiffen's theropod was thought to be approximately four to five meters in length (maximum length of 15 feet) long, and like most theropods it would have been bipedal and carnivorous.

Because of the few fossils, it is hard to determine what species of dinosaur is, although Wiffen determined that it probably came from a megalosaurid; a rather vaguely defined group of large carnivorous theropod dinosaurs. It could not be given an official binomial name until more about its classification is known. Due to the fact that megalosaurids became extinct at the end of the Jurassic it is considered unlikely that this species belongs to the clade.


In the time of Joan Wiffen's theropod, the continent Tasmantis had split off from Gondwana, meaning that this theropod dinosaur must have been unique to NZ, which scientists believe was much closer to the South Pole. It was mostly jungle. The New Zealand theropod existed with Joan Wiffen's sauropod and an unidentified type of pterosaur. Apart from this, not much is known.

Other Wikis[]