Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|An artist's illustration of Rajasaurus narmadensis|
Wilson et al., 2003
| Rajasaurus narmadensis|
Wilson et al., 2003
Rajasaurus Narmadensis was a large abelisaurid with that roamed ancient India, its name means "regal lizard" or "King Lizard". It could grow to have grown longer than 7 meters, featuring one horn and a powerful build. It lived in India in the Late Cretaceous period, around 69 to 65 million years ago. Rajasaurus was closely related to Majungasaurus, another abelisaurid from Madagascar, an island that had separated from the Indian landmass about 20 million years earlier.
Rajasaurus was a quite large abelisaur discovered in the Lameta Formation of southern India, along of fellow abelisaurids Indosaurus, Rahiolisaurus, and a large titanosaurid Isisaurus. R. narmadensis was known from a partial skeleton including a well-preserved skull (with a complete braincase and 70% of the rest of the bones recovered) hip bones and parts of the hind legs, backbone and tail. In 2010, paleontologist Gregory S. Paul stated the creature to have grown 11 metres in length (36 ft). In 2016, then downsized the length to 6.6 metres. But further studies now reveal that the abelisaur could have grown longer, probably 7.3-7.9 metres (24-26 ft) in length, indicating that it was one of the largest abelisaur to have ever walk the Earth. It is estimated that it weighed around 4 tons.
Rajasaurus was discovered in the Lameta Formation, near the Narmada river. It was found with a partial skeleton that included a nearly completed skull, spine, hip bone, legs, and tail. Rajasaurus, had a braincase with thick frontals (4 cm thick) and a single horn on its head, similar to majungasaurus's horn; it would have most likely be used for display. The head could have been used for side butting, similar to what they suspect Pachycephalosaurus would have butted. This may have applied to other abelisaurids that had rough and thick heads. Rajasaurus lived along side two abelisaurids, the large Indosaurus(more information is needed) and smaller but sleeker Rahiolosaurus, and many sauropods such as the thick necked titanosaur Isisaurus. It is also suspected that a thyrephoran, specifically a nodosaurid, could have also lived in the Lameta Formation based on the chimera skeleton Lametasaurus. Rajasaurus would have had a relatively strong bite based on its strong built and large head. Rajasaurus would most likely hunted young, injured or sick sauropods. Rajasaurus, since it might have been the dominant predoator of its ecosystem, had the choice of preying on other abelisaurids. The Lameta Formation in Rajasaurus's time was composed of open grasslands and Tropical forests.