David W. Krause, PhD

Dr. David Krause is a vertebrate paleontologist who primarily studies early mammals, although he has also published scientific papers on fossil fishes, salamanders, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs, and birds. Much of his early work was focused on Paleocene mammals from the Western Interior but that emphasis shifted some two decades ago to the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar, where he and his teams have made a wealth of fascinating discoveries of fossil vertebrates.  More broadly, Dave’s research focus is on the evolutionary and biogeographic history of the vertebrate fauna from the southern supercontinent Gondwana.

  • POSITIONSenior Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
  • EXPERTISE Vertebrate Paleontology, particularly mammals
  • PhD

    University of Michigan

  • PHONE NUMBER303-370-6379
  • EMAILdavid.krause@dmns.org
  • RESUME Click to Download


  • 1

    Krause, D. W., S. Hoffmann, J. R. Wible, E. C. Kirk, J. A. Schultz, W. v. Koenigswald, J. R. Groenke, J. B. Rossie, P. M. O’Connor, E. R. Seiffert, E. R. Dumont, W. L. Holloway, R. R. Rogers, L. J. Rahantarisoa, A. D. Kemp, and H. Andriamialison. 2014. First cranial remains of gondwanatherian mammal reveal remarkable mosaicism. Nature 515:512–517. doi:10.1038/nature13922.

  • 2

    Rogers, R. R., D. W. Krause, and K. Curry Rogers. 2003. Cannibalism in the Madagascan dinosaur Majungatholus atopus.  Nature 422:515–518.

  • 3

    Krause, D. W., G. V. R. Prasad, W. von Koenigswald, A. Sahni, and F. E. Grine. 1997. Cosmopolitanism among Late Cretaceous Gondwanan mammals.  Nature 390:504–507.

  • 4

    Krause, D. W., and J. F. Bonaparte. 1993. Superfamily Gondwanatherioidea: A previously unrecognized radiation of multituberculate mammals in South America.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 90:9379–9383.

  • 5

    Jenkins, F. A., Jr. and D. W. Krause. 1983. Adaptations for climbing in North American multituberculates (Mammalia).  Science 220:712–715.



Over twice the size of Colorado and with a great diversity of habitats, Madagascar is a fascinating island because it is home to a vast array of terrestrial vertebrate animals (e.g., lemurs, mesites, tomato frogs) that are found nowhere else on Earth.  Long isolated from Africa and other landmasses, the same uniqueness was present in the Late Cretaceous.  Working with other curators at the DMNS, particularly Dr. Joe Sertich, Krause and his teams have uncovered and studied some of the most bizarre species of Late Cretaceous vertebrates known, many of them represented by complete and exquisitely preserved skulls and skeletons.  He and his teams have attempted to document the fauna and put it into the context of other faunas from the southern supercontinent Gondwana in order to elucidate the mysterious biogeographic history of the island.


Associated with his research, Krause and colleagues initiated a humanitarian outreach project in Madagascar aimed at providing education and healthcare to children in remote areas of the country. Madagascar is one of the very poorest countries in the world and home to more than 24 million people (2016 estimate), more than in all of Australia. The project operates as the Madagascar Ankizy Fund (“ankizy” means “children” in the Malagasy language) and has been successful in building six schools, bringing both Malagasy and American health care teams to remote communities, establishing a clean-water project that provides clean water to 24,000 villagers, and distributing otherwise inaccessible products such as mosquito nets and vitamins. For more information, see www.ankizy.org.

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