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Rajasaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Rajasaurus new.png
An artist's illustration of Rajasaurus narmadensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Theropoda
Family: Abelisauridae
Subfamily: Majungasaurinae
Genus: Rajasaurus
Wilson et al., 2003
Species: R. narmadensis
Binomial name
Rajasaurus narmadensis
Wilson et al., 2003

Rajasaurus Narmadensis was a Medium-sized abelisaurid 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.

Description

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 7.1-7.4 metres (23-24 ft) in length, indicating that it was one of the largest theropods to have ever walk the India. It's weight still needs to be calculated.

Discovery

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 seems to be the dominant carnivore in its time and place. Rajasaurus's home was a semi-arid environment with shrub lands and rivers.

In the Media

Gallery

Rajasaurus/Gallery

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