Fun Mahakala Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 29, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Mahakal facts are interesting.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

The Mahakala is a genus of small and petite dinosaurs that remained at the base of paravian lineages along with other small-sized theropods. They were known to be at the base of all dromaeosaurid lineages. In comparison to other dinosaur names, it is easier to pronounce Mahakala. The name Mahakala, meaning deity is associated with a rich mythological history in the southeastern parts of Asia. In Hinduism as well as in the Tibetian Buddhist culture they are associated with powerful superstitious beliefs.

Although they were not discovered early, at present, they are considered to be one of the known basal dromaeosaurids of the Late Cretaceous era. They gave rise to several other paravian lineages and similarities in features can be seen in the holotypes of some early dromaeosaurid. In most cultures, the Mahakala is described as a fearful god which might be in reference to the frightening appearance of the dinosaur. To know more facts about them, keep on reading these amazing facts.

For similar content, you can go through Xiaotingia and Serikornis facts too.

Mahakala Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Mahakala'?

Mahakala is a four-note name that is pronounced as 'Ma-ha-ka-la'. It is believed to be the early ancestor genus of all the present raptor birds of the world.

What type of dinosaur was a Mahakala?

The Mahakala was a short to a medium-sized dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous period that belonged to the clade of the theropod dinosaurs. They were a part of the Dromaeosauridae family and at present, they are the most known basal dromaeosaurid in the world. The short size and features of these early dinosaurs are in correspondence to the present-day birds. This type of genus was believed to be the early ancestors of birds.

In which geological period did the Mahakala roam the earth?

The Mahakala was a dinosaur of the upper Cretaceous period, they existed during the Campanian stage of the Cretaceous. The Campanian stage is the fifth stage out of the six stages of the Late Cretaceous. The Campanian stage started around 83 million years ago and this genus presumably came into existence around 80 million years ago.

When did the Mahakala become extinct?

The nature of the fossils discovered and their features indicate that the Mahakala existed during the Campanian stage of the Cretaceous period. The Campanian lasted 72-83 million years ago and this genus appeared around 80 million years ago. However, the time when the species became extinct is still unknown.

Where did a Mahakala live?

The Mahakala fossils were discovered from the Djadochta Formation of Mongolia. A significant presence in the culture of southeast Asian countries suggests that most probably they lived throughout Southeast Asia. Their remains were discovered from the Gobi desert.

What was a Mahakala's habitat?

The Mahakala was a land-dwelling dinosaur that spent most of its life near water bodies. Even though water sources were difficult to find in the arid regions of the Djadochta Formation, they nested near the oases and the temporary rivers of the desert. They also lived near water bodies containing many water plants apart from the foliage of dry shrubs.

Who did a Mahakala live with?

The Mahakala was a bird in danger during the Cretaceous and was a very secretive species. They spent most of their time in the nest and probably did not form any social groups.

How long did a Mahakala live?

The span for which a Mahakala lived is unknown since their time of extinction has not been determined accurately.

How did they reproduce?

The Mahakala performed oviparous reproduction. Females lay in nests after breeding. The juveniles emerged when the eggs hatched. They probably involved in parental care like that of birds following which the juveniles fledge the nest after a few days.

Mahakala Fun Facts

What did a Mahakala look like?

The Mahakala was a small to a medium-sized dinosaur with a short height. Their appearance was quite similar to the early Troodontids and Avialans. They were included in the Halszkaraptorine group since they had features similar to 21st-century raptors. The forelimbs were short but the sickle-like claw was a common characteristic with the raptors. Their body was probably covered in feathers and they had wings and tails made up of feathers.

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

The meaning of the name Mahakal differs according to different cultural history.

How many bones did a Mahakala have?

The total number of bones present in the body of a Mahakala is unknown. A partial skeleton remains of Mahakala omnogovae is preserved in the museum and it was used to study its life.

How did they communicate?

The Mahakala probably used vocalizations to communicate with each other.

How big was a Mahakala?

The Mahakala was a small dinosaur that measured approximately 28 in (71.1 cm) in length.

How fast could a Mahakala move?

Apart from walking, the Mahakala also probably could swim in the water. The speed of their movements is unfortunately not determined.

How much did a Mahakala weigh?

The Mahakala was a light dinosaur but its speed has not been determined.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and the female species do not have any specific names. Both are called Mahakala.

What would you call a baby Mahakala?

A baby Mahakala is referred to as a nestling or hatchling.

What did they eat?

The Mahakala was carnivorous in nature. They were probably piscivorous and preyed on the marine fishes.

How aggressive were they?

Since the Mahakala are compared to the raptor species, they inherited natural aggression.

Did you know...

In contrast to their fierceness, in Japanese culture, the Mahakala denotes one of the seven lucky gods and is found commonly in Japanese households.

What does the name 'Mahakala' mean?

To decipher the name Mahakala meaning, we have to go through the mythological history of the rich cultures of Asia. The name is a derivation of the Sanskrit terms maha and kala. The word Maha means something great or extravagant. Kala refers to a time or period. The two words when combined together mean life as great as beyond death or immortal. The description somewhat goes with a description of the Mahakal genus of dinosaurs since these basal dromaeosaurids are believed to form the lineages for the present-day powerful birds. In Hinduism, it is considered to be a deity in the Hindu culture, a forceful manifestation of Lord Shiva. In many places of present India and Nepal, Mahakala temples have been spotted.

In Buddhism, it is regarded as a guardian deity in the history of Tibetian culture. The two-armed form, four-armed form, and the six-armed form are the commonly observed Mahakal deities in Tibet however, some other forms also exist. They are also mentioned in the holy Mandarin and Japanese scriptures.

What fossils of the Mahakala have been found?

The Mahakala genus is known from the partial skeleton that was discovered from the Campanian rock sediment of the Djadokhta Formation of Mongolia. The discovered skeleton that was recovered included skull, limbs, vertebrae, and fragmentary shoulder and pelvis girdle.

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 Sigilmassasaurus fun facts, or Buriolestes facts for kids.

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

Main image by Sauriazoicillus.

Mahakala Facts

What Did They Prey On?


what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?


How Much Did They Weigh?


Skin Type


How Long Were They?

28 in (71.1 cm)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Mahakala omnogovae

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Near oases

Where Did They Live?

Southeast Asia
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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