Here's a list of some amazing dinosaurs that once lived in India!
Large crowds, densely packed public transport, noisy streets and an endless sea of concrete with a few green oases is probably what instantly comes to mind when we think of a metropolitan Indian city. Urban India is essentially a melange of man-made structures intricately woven with the natural world, which has adapted rather beautifully to its vagaries. In fact the gallimaufry is so superfluous that we fail to notice its splendour and take its value for granted. We decry the rights and privileges of flora and fauna in our urban spaces and claim that the prerogative of man supersedes anything else in this ersatz ecosystem.
“This is one of the blessings of the urban nature project: without the overtly magnificent to stop us in our tracks, we must seek out the more subversively magnificent. Our sense of what constitutes wildness is expanded, and our sense of wonder along with it.” ― Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Turn the clock back a few million years ago and this most certainly wasn’t the case! Our cities never existed and even the semblance of man, if at all, existed in the most primitive of mammals. The world, that we proclaim as ours today, was ruled by the most fascinating and legendary creatures of them all - dinosaurs!
The term dinosaur was coined by an English paleontologist in the year 1842 and it means… terrible lizard in Greek! (Dino comes from ‘deinos’ which means terrible and Saurus comes from ‘sauros’ which means lizard). The earliest known dinosaurs appeared almost 250 million years ago during the Triassic Period and evolved into a very diverse group of animals with a vast array of physical features. Even modern birds can trace their ancestry back to these Triassic creatures!
Contrary to what many people think, not all dinosaurs lived during the same geological period. Stegosaurus, for example, lived during the Late Jurassic Period, about 150 million years ago. Tyrannosaurus rex lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, about 72 million years ago. Stegosaurus was extinct for 66 million years before the first Tyrannosaurus even walked on Earth!
Let’s put this into perspective: Dinosaurs dominated Earth for over 165 million years. Humans have been around for only 2 million years. Scientists estimate there were over 700 species of dinosaurs, ranging from tiny ones the size of chicken to the largest that weighed over 100 tonnes! Hence it would be safe to say that our planet is foremost a dinosaur haven and humans (and other creatures) are merely remnants of giants that have long turned to dust.
While there are no dinosaurs around today, we can still figure out what they looked like, what they ate and where they lived. This is possible thanks to dinosaur fossils that have been dug up all over the world. Dinosaur fossils have been found on all 7 continents across the globe (yes, including Antarctica!). In India too, we have unearthed numerous dinosaur fossils (and dinosaur eggs), discovered new dinosaur species and some of them even have uniquely Indian names!
Here’s a list of some of the most amazing dinosaurs that once lived and roamed in India. Some of them would have been roaming around exactly where you live or go to school! How cool is that!
This name means a big-legged lizard - bara meaning 'big' and pa meaning 'leg' in several Indian languages including Bengali. It was discovered from Pochampally in what is now Telangana. Its historical period dates to the early-middle Jurassic, which is about 175 to 190 million years ago. Barapasaurus was a herbivore that grew up to 60 feet long and weighed up to 20 tonnes.
Barapasaurus is known from approximately 300 bones from at least six individuals, so that the skeleton is almost completely known except for the anterior cervical vertebrae and the skull. This makes Barapasaurus one of the most completely known sauropods from the early Jurassic.
Barapasaurus in comparison to a full grown adult 
This dinosaur was named after Pamela Lamplugh, founder of the Indian Statistical Institute. It lived almost 195 million years ago in the Early Jurassic period and its remains were found in the Dharmaram Geological Formation located in Andhra Pradesh. From the fossils that have been excavated it is estimated to have grown to a length of around 33 feet and walked on all fours.
Rahiolisaurus was named after the village of Rahioli, located near the fossil site where the dinosaur's remains were discovered. Rahiolisaurus likely inhabited what is now the Narmada River Valley. The formation is known for being a sauropod nesting site, yielding several dinosaur eggs, and sauropod herds likely chose sandy soil for nesting.
It is estimated that Rahiolisaurus would have been around 22 feet long and weighed around 2 tons. It has a similar structure to its famous cousin the Rajasaurus but with a slightly slender frame. When Rahiolisaurus was discovered in Gujarat in 2010, the fossils were around 66 million years old, making it one of the last non-avian dinosaurs known in the fossil record.
Did we miss out on any cool dinosaurs you know about? Tell us in the comments!
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