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 Rajasaurus narmadensis

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PostSubject: Rajasaurus narmadensis   Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:44 pm

Rajasaurus narmadensis



Fossil range: Late Cretaceous, 70–65 Ma

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Abelisauridae
Subfamily: Carnotaurinae
Genus: Rajasaurus

Rajasaurus (meaning "King" or "Kingly lizard") is a genus of carnivorous abelisaurian dinosaur with an unusual head crest. Between 1982 and 1984, its fossilized bones were discovered by Suresh Srivastava of the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Excavated from the Narmada River valley in Rahioli in the Kheda district of Gujarat, India, the find was announced as a new genus of dinosaur by American and Indian scientists on August 13, 2003.

Rajasaurus was an abelisaurid, a member of a group of theropod predators known to have lived only on landmasses that were part of the supercontinent Gondwana, such as Africa, India, Madagascar, and South America. Rajasaurus closely resembles Majungasaurus, a contemporary abelisaur from Madagascar, an island that had separated from the Indian landmass about 20 million years earlier. It was found to be an abelisaurid through a phylogenetic analysis of anatomical characteristics, and was described as a carnotaurine abelisaurid (the subfamily including Carnotaurus) because of the configuration of its nasal bones and its possession of a growth ("excrescence") on its frontal bone. Rajasaurus is distinguished from other genera by its single nasal-frontal horn, the proportions of its supratemporal fenestrae (holes in the upper rear of the skull), and the form of the ilia (principle bones of the hip).

Rajasaurus was identified from a partial skeleton including a well–preserved skull (with a complete braincase and 70% of the rest of the skull bones recovered), hip bones and parts of the hind legs, backbone and tail. This specimen, GSI 21141/1–33, serves as the type specimen of the genus and species. Rajasaurus measured about 7.6–9 m (24.9–29.5 ft) long, 2.4 m (7.9 ft) in height, and weighed about 3 to 4 tons. The skull was short, measuring 60 cm (23.6 in) in length, and bore a distinctive low rounded horn. This horn is made up of outgrowths from the nasal and frontal bones.

Rajasaurus is known only from the Indian Peninsula. At the time it was alive, the Indian landmass had recently separated from the rest of Gondwana and was moving north. While Rajasaurus had evolved along its own direction, it was still similar to other abelisaurids such as Majungasaurus from Madagascar and Carnotaurus from South America; these animals descended from a common lineage.



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