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For the fictional character, see Titanosaurus (Godzilla).
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 70 Ma
Titanosaurus indicus holotypic distal caudal vertebra
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Neosauropoda
Clade: Macronaria
Clade: Titanosauria
Superfamily: Titanosauroidea
Family: Titanosauridae
Lydekker, 1895
Subfamily: Titanosaurinae
Lydekker, 1895
Genus: Titanosaurus
Lydekker, 1877
Species: T. indicus
Binomial name
Titanosaurus indicus
Lydekker, 1877

Titanosaurus (meaning 'titanic lizard' - named after the mythological 'Titans', deities of Ancient Greece) is a dubious genus of sauropod dinosaurs, first described by Lydekker in 1877.[1] It is known from the Maastrichtian (Upper Cretaceous) Lameta Formation of India.


Titanosaurus is estimated to have grown up to 9–12 metres (30–40 ft) long and up to approximately 13 tons in weight. Wilson and Upchurch (2003) treated Titanosaurus as a nomen dubium ("dubious name") because they noted that the original Titanosaurus specimens cannot be distinguished from those of related animals.[2]


T. blanfordi holotype distal caudal vertebra ((GSI 2195)

As the type genus of Titanosauria, Titanosaurus at times became a wastebasket genus for a number of titanosaurs, including those not just from India but also southern Europe, Laos, and South America. Only two among these, however, are currently considered species of Titanosaurus: T. indicus and T. blandfordi, both of which are considered nomina dubia.

Other species formerly referred to this genus include:

  • "Titanosaurus" rahioliensis - Described based on teeth, this species is now considered an indeterminate neosauropod.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" colberti - This species was the most well-known species of Titanosaurus, but has been moved into its own genus, Isisaurus.[2][3]
  • "Titanosaurus" australis - Known from relatively complete remains, but has been renamed Neuquensaurus.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" nanus - A small species found to be non diagnostic, and hence a nomen dubium.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" robustus - Now referred to Neuquensaurus.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" madagascariensis - nomen dubium; UCB 92305 apparently related to Vahiny, while UCM 92829 has been re-assigned to Rapetosaurus.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" falloti - This large species, native to Laos, has disputed affinities. It has been considered synonymous with Tangvayosaurus and Huabeisaurus, but the remains are too fragmentary to be sure.[2][4][5]
  • "Titanosaurus" valdensis - Referred to a new genus, Iuticosaurus, but still considered a nomen dubium.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" lydekkeri - Also referred to Iuticosaurus, but its relation to I. valdensis is uncertain.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" dacus - Now moved to the dwarf Titanosaur genus, Magyarosaurus.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The name Titanosaurus was given to an aquatic dinosaur in the 1975 movie Terror of Mechagodzilla.[6]


  1. ^ Lydekker, R. (1877). "Notices of new and other Vertebrata from Indian Tertiary and Secondary rocks." Records of the Geological Survey of India, 10(1): 30-43.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wilson, J.A. and Upchurch, P. (2003). "A revision of Titanosaurus Lydekker (Dinosauria – Sauropoda), the first dinosaur genus with a “Gondwanan” distribution." Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 1(3): 125-160.
  3. ^ Jain, Sohan L.; Bandyopadhyay, Saswati (1997). "New Titanosaurid (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Central India". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma. 17 (1): 114–136. doi:10.1080/02724634.1997.10010958. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ Pang, Qiqing; Cheng, Zhengwu (2000). "A New Family of Sauropod Dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of Tianzhen, Shanxi Province, China". Acta Geologica Sinica. 74 (2): 117–125. doi:10.1111/j.1755-6724.2000.tb00438.x. 
  5. ^ Allain, R.; Taquet, P.; Battail, B; Dejax, J.; Richir, P.; Véran, M.; Limon-Duparcmeur, F.; Vacant, R.; Mateus, O.; Sayarath, P.; Khenthavong, B.; Phouyavong, S. (1999). "Un nouveau genre de dinosaure sauropode de la formation des Grès supérieurs (Aptien-Albien) du Laos". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences à Paris, Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes (in French). 329 (8): 609–616. Bibcode:1999CRASE.329..609A. doi:10.1016/S1251-8050(00)87218-3. 
  6. ^ "Titanosaurus". Comic Vine. Retrieved December 31, 2012.