Disclaimer #1: As much as we’d like for it to be true, this article is in no way related to Mukesh Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal, or for that matter, L.K.Advani. If you’re a science-over-satire kind of guy though, this one’s for you.
Dinosaurs: Fascinating gigantic creatures that walked the earth with cockroaches and dragonflies for company. Ever since the first fossil was found in 1824, the dinosaurs have intrigued humans all around the globe. Most of us grew up on ‘The Jurassic Park’ series and in case you didn’t, then well, crawl out of your hole and order a DVD (which is Latin for download it from Kat.ph). The reason it is considered to be one of the best dinosaur movies of all time is because it offered an almost perfect panorama of the dinosaur world. Either way, to bring some context into this soliloquy, a recent binge on the series got us wondering about the kind of dinosaurs that roamed on Indian terrain all those millions of years ago and sure enough, a little excavating yielded some amazing results. In case you ever doubted it, India had its own fair share of dinosaurs. Twenty five, to be precise so we decided to list out 15 of the most indigenous ones for your perusal.
Disclaimer#2: Bollywood, this is NOT an idea for a movie. The last time you tried your hand at sci-fi, the result was Ra.One. And we all know how well that went.
I. Barapasaurus: At 46 feet tall, the Barapasaurus is possibly one of the biggest dinosaurs on this list. And like most gigantic dinosaurs, the Barapasaurus was a harmless herbivore. The name Barapasaurus literally means “big-legged lizard”, where bara means big and pa means leg in various Indian languages, apparently. Now we don’t know which Hindi dictionary they referred to, because we’re pretty sure bara means twelve and pa means Amitabh Bachchan but in all fairness, “Twelve of Amitabh Bachchan’s lizards” makes no sense.
II. Brachypodosaurus: Not much is known about this particular dinosaur as very few remains have been found. Brachypodosaurus, though, literally translates to “short-legged lizard”. So, Twelve of Aamir Khan’s lizards then. Cool.
III. Bruhathkayosaurus: This might possibly be the largest dinosaur that ever lived and he was all ours. Estimates claim that the dinosaur could have been close to 110 feet tall which is about as tall as an eleven-storied building. Yep, definitely deserves a name that long and complicated.
IV. Compsosuchus: Again, not much is known about this one, because only a few neck bones have been found. It makes you wonder how they came up with the name Compsosuchus, which literally translates to “pretty crocodile”. Could have just called it Lacoste.
V. Dandakosaurus: At this point, we’re beginning to wonder if we know anything about any Indian dinosaur at all, because all that was found of this one was a partial pubis bone, i.e. the pelvic area. Guess we’ll leave it at that.
VI. Dryptosauroides: Finally, one that had more than a single fossil! And excuse our morbid fascination with death, but this one was a carnivore! Only six fossils have been found of the dinosauria unpronounceablea so far, all of them in India.
VII. Indosaurus: This one weighed close to 700 kg and probably had horns just above its eyes. They were closely related to the South American unusual dinosaur Carnotaurus, which means that at some point the world was divided into two huge pieces of land connected by a bridge that allowed the dinosaurs to migrate freely. Scientists also believed that spraying a bottle-full of Bagon or Hit wouldn’t kill this particular dinosaur, and therefore decided to call it Indosaurus, which literally means the “Indian Lizard”.
VIII. Isisaurus: Another Titanosaur on the list, the Isisaurus stood sixty feet tall. It had a bizarre appearance, with a short, vertically directed neck and long forelimbs. The weirdest fact about the Isisaurus is its name though. While we know by now that saurus means lizard, Isi on the other hand means…Indian Statistical Institute. Yep. Not even a joke. Go figure.
IX. Jubbulpuria: A real small predator, the Jubbulpuria was a carnivore. It was a foot and a half tall and close to four feet long. The name translates to “the Jubbulpur one”, referring to the city of Jabalpur where it was found.
X. Lamplughsaura: Known from several partial skeletons, the Lamplughsaura was probably close to 33 feet long. Contrary to popular belief, it is not named after a lamp-plug, but after Pamela Lamplugh, the founder of the Indian Statistical Institute.
XI. Lametasaurus: A ground dwelling carnivore, the Lametasaurus was another dinosaur that was found in Jabalpur. Before much could be known about the Lametasaurus, a lot of the material was “lost”. You would think they’d want to guard it better, you know, rare fossils and all that, but hey, who cares.
XII. Nambalia: Found close to Jaklapallisaurus in 2011, in Andhra Pradesh, it was named after Nambal, a village close to where the fossil was found. It was a sauropod.
XIII. Pradhania: Named in 2007, the Pradhania was a modest-sized dinosaur, presumably 13 feet long. All that was found was fragmentary remains, thereby making it impossible to know anything more.
XIV. Rajasaurus: The coolest dinosaur on the list by far, Rajasaurus literally means the “King of lizards”. A ferocious carnivore, it weighed up to four tons, was thirty feet long, eight feet tall and had a fearsome and unusual head crest. Picture a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now picture a really pissed off Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yep, that would be a Rajasaurus.
XV. Titanosaurus: Named after the mythological Titans of ancient Greece, the Titanosaurus was not half as menacing as them. It was a quiet little herbivore, grew up to forty feet in length, and went about its business in peace. Waste of a name as heavy as TITANOSAURUS, if you ask us.
Well, those were your twenty five dinosaurs that walked around in India millions of years ago, before they became extinct, of course, which was also sort of India’s fault. A new theory suggests that a huge meteoroid may have fallen on the Indian subcontinent, creating a huge crater, changing the earth’s temperature, and causing a lot of volcanic activity and well, eventually killing all the dinosaurs. Yep, Mera Bharat Mahan.
Compiled & Written By: Rameez Shaikh