Rajasaurus

Name: Rajasaurus ‭(‬Princely lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Rah-jah-sore-us.
Named By: J.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Wilson,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Sereno,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Srivastava,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬K.‭ ‬Bhatt,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Khosla‭ & ‬A.‭ ‬Sahni‭ ‬-‭ ‬2003.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Abelisauridae,‭ ‬Carnotaurinae.
Species: R.‭ ‬narmadensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Estimated between‭ ‬7.6‭ ‬and‭ ‬9‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬2.4‭ ‬meters high.‭ ‬Skull is‭ ‬60‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: India‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lameta Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and most of the post cranial skeleton.

       Although officially named in‭ ‬2003,‭ ‬the first confirmed remains of Rajasaurus were found in between‭ ‬1982‭ ‬and‭ ‬1984‭ ‬by Suresh Srivastava.‭ ‬However there is an outside chance that the first remains may have actually been discovered way back in‭ ‬1923‭ ‬with the naming of Lametasaurus.‭ ‬Lametasaurus though is now considered to ba a paleontological chimera and what this means is that the remains of several different dinosaurs were incorrectly interpreted as belonging to the same dinosaur.
       Rajasaurus is a carnotaurine abelisaur,‭ ‬and as such it is thought to be related to other late Cretaceous forms like Carnotaurus and Majungasaurus,‭ ‬the latter genus being thought to be a particularly close relative.‭ ‬Majungasaurus is known only from Madagascar and twenty million years before the Rajasaurus holotype specimen died,‭ ‬Madagascar was actually part of India.‭ ‬Because both Majungasaurus and Rajasaurus are both from the Later stages of the Cretaceous and both were isolated from one another,‭ ‬they must have had a common ancestor active‭ ‬twenty million years earlier when India and Madagascar were still joined.
       Rajasaurus seems to have had a low rounded horn that grew from the nasal bones of the skull,‭ ‬a similar feature also appearing on the skull of Majungasaurus.‭ ‬This is interesting since the tyrannosaurs that were the dominant theropods in the northern continents steadily lost ornamental structures on their heads as they became more advanced.‭ ‬In contrast to them the ornamentation of Rajasaurus combined with the double horns of Carnotaurus suggests that the abelisaurs seem to have developed‭ ‬head ornamentation as they grew more advanced.‭ ‬Another Indian abelisaur named Indosaurus is also thought to have possibly had a pair of horns above its eyes,‭ ‬although this remains difficult to prove since the holotype specimen has been lost.

Further reading
- A new abelisaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Lameta Formation (Cretaceous, Maastrichtian) of India - J. A. Wilson, P. C. Sereno, S. Srivastava, D. K. Bhatt, A. Khosla & A. Sahni - 2003.



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