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In this article I am going to discuss distribution and variety of dinosaur’s genera found in India. Before giving you the list of genera I would like to give you some background information about the geology of India to understand distribution and diversity of these creatures and their dominance in India.
Dinosaur evolution can be traced back to early Triassic period of Mesozoic era and at that time there was only single continent in the world and that was the super continent called Pangaea. All of the continents that we know today, India, Australia, Africa, America and Eurasia all were united in the form of super-continent. Although nothing is permanent is ever lasting in this universe, not even Pangaea. By the end of Triassic period this supercontinent start breaking and this resulted two super continent “Laurasia” in the northern hemisphere of the earth and “Gondwana” in the southern hemisphere of the earth. India was the part of Gondwana land along with other continents like Australia, Africa, Antarctica and South America. The term Gondwana is came from the Sanskrit letter “Gond” for the central India tribe.
As dinosaurs were there when there was Pangaea and hence they spread all over the supercontinent. Later on after division of the Pangaea into Laurasia and Gondwana different groups of dinosaurs got separated and hence these two different continents inhabited different groups of dinosaurs for e.g. Tyrannosaurus was in Laurasia not in Gondwana, hence you can never found Tyrannosaurus fossil in India, Australia, Africa, South America.
List of Indian Dinosaurs are as follow:
- Alwalkeria : Basal saurischian dinosaur, from Maleri Formation, of Godavari basin, Andhra Pradesh. This dinosaur is of late Triassic period. It was bipedal and look like theropod (although S Chatterjee originally classified it as basal theropod) but now it is considered as basal saurischian which include both theropod and sauropod. It might be omnivore as it has heterodont dentetion that means more than one kind of teeth. It is also interesting to know that this animal might be the ancestor of sauropods. Discovered by Shankar Chatterjee, in 1974. Now the only known specimen is in ISI Kolkata (ISI R306).
- Pradhania: This is a massospondylid sauropodomorph dinosaur, from Dharmaram Formation of India. This animal is from early Jurassic period. Known from fragmentary remains and supposed to be of 13 feet in length.
- Jaklapallisaurus : Plateosaurid of late Triassic period. Fossil was from Andhra Pradesh. Various samples are recovered from Gondwana basins of India.
- Lamplughsaura : It is a basal sauropod dinosaur of early Jurassic period. This animal is also from Dharmaram Formation. Known from several fragmentary bones. This animal was about 10m (33 feet) in length.
- Nambalia : Basal sauropodomorph, from Gondwana basin, late Triassic. Holotype specimen (ISI R273) recovered from Upper Maleri Formation within the Pranhita–Godavari Basin, north of Nambal village, Andhra Pradesh. Generic name is after the village.
- Kotasaurus : basal sauropod of early Jurassic period. From Kota Formation of Telangana (village of Yamanpalli). Fossil data for this genus is rich (840 skeletal parts) but not skull or part of skull (except teeth) is ever been recovered. Length was approximately.
- Barapasaurus : basal sauropod of early Jurassic period, Kota Formation, Nalgonda District of Telangana. Share same habitat with Kotasaurus. Known from more than 300 bones of six individuals but here also skull is missing. The genus name Barapasaurus came from hindi words “bara (bada)” which means big and “pa” means leg, i.e. big- leg- lizard. There is only one species of this genus and the species name in tagorei, devoted to Rabindranath Tagore.
- Dandakosaurus : early Jurassic theropod from Andhra Pradesh and supposed to be look like ceratosaurus. Known from partial pubis. Hence this geneus is nomen dubium.
- Dryptosauroides : Late Cretaceous theropod dinosaur (possibly Abelisauridae). Known from six caudal vertebrae, which were recovered from Bara Simla hill of Jabalpur, MP, i.e. Lameta Formation. But this genus is nomen dubium, as these bones are nearly indistinguishable from other specimens found in same locality.
- Indosaurus : Late Cretaceous abelisauridae, theropod dinosaur. This dinosaur is also known from Lameta Formation, Jabalpur. Known from Holotype specimen (that means this genus is known from a single specimen) GSI K27/565. Indosaurus may had horns above its eyes. According to some paleontologist Indosuchus and Compsosuchus should be merged in genus
- Indosuchus : Late Cretaceous abelisauridae, theropod dinosaur. This dinosaur used to look similar to Indosaurus, it too had crested head (although crested head is very common in abelisauridae). Known from 3 skull materials recovered from Lameta Formation, Jablapur district of M.P.
- Compsosuchus : Late Cretaceous abelisauridae, theropod dinosaur. Known from holotype specimen GSI K27/578. This genus is nomen dubium.
- Orthogoniosaurus : Late Cretaceous therpod from Lameta Formation, Jabalpur, M.P.
- Rahiolisaurus : abelisaurid theropod dinosaur of late Cretaceous. Described on the basis of fossils recovered from Lameta Formation, Gujarat. Size estimate 6.3 metres (20.7 ft) in length.
- Rajasaurus : This is a very famous abelisaurid theropod dinosaur from India. This theropod discovered by Suresh Srivastava of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) from the Narmada River valley in Rahioli in the Mahisagar district of Gujarat, India. Length was about 6 – 7 m.
- Coeluroides : Small theropod dinosaur from Lameta Formation, Bara Simla hill, Jabalpur, M.P. and belong to late Cretaceous Formation.
- Ornithomimoides : Dobious genus of theropod dinosaur of late Cretaceous period. Known from five dorsal vertebrae from Lameta Formation, Bara simla hill, Jabalpur, MP.
- Jubbulpuria : This is also a small theropod of late Cretaceous Period. This is also from Madhya Pradesh.
- Laevisuchus : abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from Jabalpur, M.P. This therpod is from late Cretaceous. Known from few cervical vertebrae and a dorsal vertebra.
- Lametasaurus : abelisaurid theropod dinosaur, from Lameta Formation, Jabalpur, MP. Type material is lost and this genus is nomen dubium.
- Brachypodosaurus : meaning of name is short footed lizard. This dinosaur is also known from Lameta Formation, Chota Simla hill, Jabalpur, M.P. The holotype specimen (IMV9) is now in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Although this genus is dubious as this was originally classified as stegosaur but now it is supposed to be of ankylosaur.
- Jainosaurus : Large titanosaur, sauropod of late Cretaceous. Suppose to be 15 m long. Humerus is 134 cm (4.4 ft) long. Known from more than one remain and the first remain is from Lameta Formation, Jabalpur, M.P.
- Isisaurus : this is also a titanosaur, sauropod dinosaur. It’s genus name is after ISI (Indian Statistical Institute) Kolkata. This is from Lameta Formation, of Cretaceous period. The original specimen ISI R 335/1-65 was originally classified as Known from various specimens. It’s humerus is 148 cm (4.8 ft). Slightly larger than Jainosaurus.
- Titanosaurus : A dubious genus of sauropod dinosaur, from Lameta Formation. Family Titanosauroidea is after this genus. Although this genus is nomen dubium.
- Bruhathkayosaurus : Might be one of the largest dinosaur. Suppose to be 35m (115 ft) in length, but this estimate is highly controversial and based on rough estimates from some crude data and not from actual specimens. Originally classified as theropod dinosaur but later on described as titanosaur, sauropod. Known from few specimens (GSI PAL/SR/20), which was recovered from Kallamedu village, Tiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately these specimens lost. This titanosaur was of Cretaceous period.
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