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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: ?Plesiosauria
Genus: Dravidosaurus
Yadagiri & Ayyasami, 1979
  • D. blanfordi (type)
    Yadagiri & Ayyasami, 1979

Dravidosaurus (meaning "Dravidanadu lizard", Dravidanadu being a region in the southern part of India where the remains were discovered) is a genus of prehistoric reptile which was once thought to be the last surviving stegosaur, the group of "plated" dinosaurs. With an estimated length of 3 metres (10 ft), it would have also been the smallest member of the group.[1] More recent studies, however, have shown that the bones actually belonged to a plesiosaurian marine reptile.

Dravidosaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous period (Coniacian stage) of what is now India. It is only known from a poorly preserved skeleton containing a partial skull, a tooth and some elements initially interpreted as plates. The badly weathered remains were discovered in marine deposits near Ariyalur in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India.[2] During the 1990s, further study indicated it was a plesiosaur and not a dinosaur.[3]


  1. ^ Galton P.M., and Upchurch P., (2004). "Stegosauria." In D. B. Weishampel, P. Dodson, and H. Osmólska (eds.), The Dinosauria (2nd edition), University of California Press, Berkeley 343-362.
  2. ^ Yadagiri, P., and Ayyasami, K., (1979). "A new stegosaurian dinosaur from Upper Cretaceous sediments of south India." Journal of the Geological Society of India, 20(11): 521-530.
  3. ^ Chatterjee, S., and Rudra, D. K. (1996). "KT events in India: impact, rifting, volcanism and dinosaur extinction," in Novas & Molnar, eds., Proceedings of the Gondwanan Dinosaur Symposium, Brisbane, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 39(3): iv + 489–731 : 489-532

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