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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Genus: Dravidosaurus
Species: D. blanfordi
Binomial name
Dravidosaurus blanfordi
Yadagiri & Ayyasami, 1979

Dravidosaurus (meaning "Dravidanadu lizard", Dravidanadu being a region in the southern part of India where the remains were discovered) is a controversial genus of prehistoric reptile. It was first described as the last surviving stegosaurian, the group of "plated" dinosaurs. With an estimated length of three 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, and that none of the remains are demonstrably dinosaurian in origin.[2]

Dravidosaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous period (Coniacian stage) of what is now India. It is only known from a poorly preserved skeleton that was originally described as containing a partial skull, a tooth, a sternum, as sacrum, an ilium, an ischium, and some elements initially interpreted as a plate and a spike. The badly weathered remains were discovered in marine deposits near Ariyalur in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. They were in 1979 named by P.M. Yadagiri and Krishnan Ayyasami as the type species Dravidosaurus blanfordi, the specific name honouring William Thomas Blanford. The holotype is GSI SR Pal 1.[3]

In 1991, Sankar Chatterjee visited the site and concluded that the remains actually consisted of weathered plesiosaurian pelvic and hindlimb elements, the species being a nomen dubium.[4]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Wilson, J. A., Barrett, P. M., & Carrano, M. T. (2011). An associated partial skeleton of Jainosaurus cf. septentrionalis (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Chhota Simla, central India. Palaeontology, 54(5), 981-998.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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