Fun Indosaurus Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 20, 2022 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Sep 30, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Check out these brilliant Indosaurus facts!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Indosaurus, meaning 'Indian lizard', was a large theropod dinosaur genus that was found in the Lameta Formation in India. The genus consists of a single species, Indosaurus matley.

It was named by Charles Alfred Matley‭ and ‬Friedrich von Huene in 1933 in a paper titled 'The Cretaceous Saurischia And Ornithischia Of The Central Provinces Of India', Palaeontologica Indica (New Series), Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India. It is estimated that the diet of this dinosaur was carnivorous, and it lived during the Late Cretaceous period.

The fossil remains were found in the Lameta Formation, which is located in Jabalpur in India.

These remains included a partial skull and some other postcranial fossils. Though categorized as an allosaurid at first, this dinosaur genus is considered to belong to the family Abelisauridae.

The discovery of these fossil remains has been considered to be extremely important in the field of paleontology.

This is because it was initially assumed that India was not an isolated continent floating in the ocean, but due to the similarity seen in the fossils of a South American abelisaurid Carnotaurus, it is now thought that a land bridge would have connected the regions that now constitute India and South America.

Keep reading to find out more interesting facts about this amazing dinosaur!

 If you want to read about other cool dinosaurs, check out our Yandusaurus facts and Achillesaurus facts for kids pages.

Indosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Indosaurus'?

The Indosaurus was the name given to this dinosaur by Charles Alfred Matley and Friedrich Von Huene in 1933, and it is phonetically pronounced as 'In-doe-sawr-us'.

What type of dinosaur was an Indosaurus?

The Indosaurus was a type of carnivorous theropod. At the time of its naming and description, it was considered to be a member of the family Allosauridae because of the shape and structure of the front part of its skull.

However, later when the family Abelisauridae was formed, it was classified as an abelisaurid. Abelisaurids are theropods that mostly lived during the Middle Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous period. They are characterized by ornamentation on their skulls such as horns, grooves, or pits.

They also had stocky hind limbs and extremely short fore limbs that would have been functionless. The Indosaurus is considered to be similar to a North American abelisaurid named Carnotaurus.

In which geological period did the Indosaurus roam the Earth?

The bones of the dinosaur genus were found in the Lameta Formation, the deposits from which date back to the Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic Era. It would have lived almost 72.1-66 million years ago.

When did the Indosaurus become extinct?

Since this prehistoric animal lived around 60 million years ago during the very last stage of the Late Cretaceous period, it would have gone extinct along with the various plant and animal species that went extinct due to the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that occurred almost 66 million years ago.

This event took place when a massive comet or asteroid fell on the surface of the Earth.

Where did an Indosaurus live?

Indosaurus, meaning 'Indian lizard', would have lived in what is now known as India. Its peculiar similarity with the South American Carnotaurus has led scientists to believe that the landmass that consisted of modern-day India was not isolated, but would have been connected to other landmasses by a land bridge.

Although not much content is available, this would have enabled the Indosaurus to not remain restricted or endemic to India but would have enabled it to move to other places.

What was an Indosaurus' habitat?

Studies on the deposits in Lameta Formation in Jabalpur, India have revealed that Indosaurus matleyi could have lived in either a semi-arid region or a tropical humid one.

Who did an Indosaurus live with?

Given its carnivorous diet, it is likely that this dinosaur would have led an independent or solitary lifestyle.

How long did Indosaurus live?

Although the lifespan of the Indosaurus has not been calculated due to lack of evidence and research, the life expectancy of another theropod, the Tyrannosaurus, is thought to have been around 30 years.

How did they reproduce?

These dinosaurs were oviparous, meaning they laid eggs from which their young ones emerged. 

Indosaurus Fun Facts

What did an Indosaurus look like?

Indosaurus, meaning 'Indian lizard', was a large theropod dinosaur. Not much content is available about its appearance as its fossil remains, including its partial skull and other fragmentary remains of its skeleton, are now lost.

However, it was noted at the time of discovery that this dinosaur, like most other abelisaurids, would have had horns over its eyes.

Dinosaurs of this genus would have had very short and functionless forelimbs but stocky and long hind legs. As a carnivorous theropod, its teeth would have been sharp to tear through the meat of other dinosaurs.

A partial Indosaurus skull showed that it would have had horns above its eyes.
We've been unable to source an image of Indosaurus and have used an image of Indosuchus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Indosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did an Indosaurus have?

The total number of bones an Indosaurus matleyi had cannot be quantified since only a few fossil remains of its partial skull and skeleton were found, which are now lost.

How did they communicate?

Though it is not clear how these animals would have communicated, the horns over the eyes of dinosaurs of this genus and family are thought to have been used for intimidating other similar animals or its prey.

How big was an Indosaurus?

Since more fossil remains of this dinosaur have not yet been found, its body length has been roughly estimated to be 36 ft (11 m), and its height has been thought to have been 13 ft (4 m).

How fast could an Indosaurus move?

The speed of this dinosaur has not been evaluated due to lack of evidence, but the speed of theropods has been estimated to have been in the range of 4-27 mph (6.5-43 kph), depending on the size of the animal.

How much did an Indosaurus weigh?

Indosaurus matleyi is thought to have weighed about 1540 lb (700 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no specific names for the male and female animals of this species or genus.

What would you call a baby Indosaurus?

A baby dinosaur of this genus would have been called a hatchling.

What did they eat?

This animal was a carnivorous theropod and would have fed on other dinosaurs. Evidence has shown that abelisaurids are used to feed on members of Titanosauria.

It is possible that the Indosaurus could have preyed upon the herbivorous titanosaur Isisaurus, whose fossils were also recovered from the Lameta Formation in India, and it was found to have lived during the Late Cretaceous.

How aggressive were they?

Indosaurus, meaning 'Indian lizard', could have been very aggressive as they were carnivores that preyed upon other dinosaurs both bigger and smaller in size than them.

Did you know...

Recently, it was considered that a species of Megalosaurus, M. matleyi, could have belonged to the genus Indosaurus. Fossil remains found of other abelisaurids such as Indosuchus and Compsosuchus are thought to have belonged to Indosaurus as well. More research and evidence are needed regarding this genus to correctly attribute these species to the right genera.

Where did Indosaurus live in India?

The remains of Indosaurus were recovered from the Lameta Formation, which is found in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. This dinosaur would have lived in Central India.

However, scientists now believe that there would have been a land bridge connecting India and South America during the Cretaceous period, so the Indosaurus could have traveled to other landmasses as well.

What does the term Indosaurus mean?

The name, Indosaurus, was given to this dinosaur genus by Charles Alfred Matley‭ and ‬Friedrich von Huene in a paper with the title 'The Cretaceous Saurischia And Ornithischia Of The Central Provinces Of India', Palaeontologica Indica (New Series), Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India in 1933.

The meaning of the name translates to 'Indian lizard'.

It is a reference to the country its fossils were found in, that is, India, whereas the specific name of the type species was given to the dinosaur as a way to honor Charles Alfred Matley.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Yingshanosaurus facts and Trinisaura facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Indosaurus coloring pages.

Main image and second image by FunkMonk (Michael B. H.)

*We've been unable to source an image of Indosaurus and have used an image of Indosuchus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Indosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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