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Rajasaurus

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rajasaurus

Rajasaurus (Dmitri Bogdanov)

Name:

Rajasaurus (Hindi/Greek for "prince lizard"); pronounced RAH-jah-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of India

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 30 feet long and one ton

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; crest on head

About Rajasaurus:

Theropods--the two-legged, carnivorous dinosaurs that included raptors, tyrannosaurs, carnosaurs, and too many other –saurs to list here--had a wide distribution during the later Mesozoic Era. An otherwise unremarkable predator, except for its small head crest, Rajasaurus lived in what is now modern-day India; it has taken over 20 years to reconstruct this dinosaur from its scattered remains. (Dinosaur fossils are relatively rare in India, which explains why the regal word "Raja," meaning "prince," was bestowed on this carnivore.)

According to paleontologists, Rajasaurus was a type of large theropod known as an abelisaur, and thus closely related to the eponymous member of this genus, the South American Abelisaurus. The family resemblance can be explained by the fact that India and South America (as well as Africa and Madagascar) were joined together in the giant continent Gondwana in prehistoric times.

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