According to the American Museum of Natural History, scientists worldwide have identified an estimated 700 species of dinosaur. Of these species, it just so happens that 7 are dinosaurs that start with R. Continue reading below to learn more about these dinosaurs, including their discovery and what scientists think they might have been like prior to extinction.
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The Rajasaurus is a genus of dinosaur that includes the species Rajasaurus narmadensis. The name Rajasaurus is a combination of terms from two different languages. The first half of the generic name comes from the Sanskrit word rāja, which means “king” or “sovereign.” The latter half is from the Ancient Greek word sauros, which means “lizard.” As a result, the name Rajasaurus means “lizard king,” while the specific name, narmadensis, refers to the Narmada River. This river flows near where scientists discovered the dinosaur.
The remains of the Rajasaurus were first found in the Lameta Formation in India. While geologists discovered the Lameta Formation in 1981, and the fossils not long after that, work to reconstruct the remains of Rajasarurus didn’t begin until 2001. Two years later, in 2003, scientists formally described Rajasaurus.
Rajasaurus was most likely an ambush predator, as with many larger dinosaurs of the time. From what scientists have been able to understand from fossils, it likely measured around 22 feet in height. Further studies show that Rajasaurus had a single horn on its head.
Because scientists have been unable to uncover many of the bones of the Rebbachisaurus, much of our knowledge about this dinosaur’s appearance and lifestyle is speculative. However, scientists agree on the fact that this dinosaur was a 20-meter-long herbivore. Its backbone had large spines that may have supported a sail-like feature.
The discovery of the fossilized remains of Rebbachisaurus happened between 1948 and 1952. During this time, scientists discovered several bones in the Aoufous Formation in Morrocco. Scientists suspect that the Rebbachisaurus lived both in Africa and South America, suggesting some land connection between the continents in the past.
Rhabdodon likely ate plants, making it another herbivorous dinosaur. However, it measures much smaller than the Rebbachisaurus at around 4 meters in length. Its name translates to “fluted tooth,” and two species belong to this genus: R. priscus and R. septimanicus. It stands out as the first dinosaur on this list suspected of living in Europe during its time.
The Rhoetosaurus brownei is one of the most complete, as well as the largest, dinosaurs in Australia. It is also one of the oldest sauropods and can be traced back to Gondwana, part of the supercontinent of Pangea.
As a sauropod, it is likely that the Rhoetosaurus was an herbivore. It was described in 1926 after its partial skeleton was uncovered two years prior. Although additional excavation efforts led to the discovery of more fossilized remains of this dinosaur, its skull, and front limbs are still unavailable.
It is named after the Greek giant Rhoetos. The species name, brownei, comes from Arthur Browne, the station manager of Taloona Station, who brought the fossil to attention.
The Rinchenia was an oviraptorid dinosaur that lived in Asia. An oviraptorid dinosaur is one that displays distinct bird-like qualities. In the Rinchenia, this is seen through its beak and head crest. In many ways, this dinosaur resembles a modern-day cassowary.
The fossilized remains of this dinosaur were first discovered in 1984 in the Nemegt Formation of the Gobi Desert. With the Gobi Desert spanning both China and Mongolia, these fossils were found in Mongolia. In 1997, it received the current genus name of Rinchenia, with the known species being Rinchenia mongoliensis. Its species name is derived from the location of discovery.
The Riojasaurus was discovered in the Los Colorados Formation in Argentina, in the La Rioja Province for which it is named. It was an herbivore probably able to grow to be around 6.6 meters in length. The type species is Riojasaurus incertus, which José Fernando Bonaparte named in 1969.
Based on current research, Riojasaurus was a heavy, slow-moving dinosaur.
Rugops, which means “wrinkle face,” is the last of this list of dinosaurs that start with R. A genus with only one species, the Rugops primus, it might have lived in Africa. Its skull was first found in 2000 near In-Abangharit. Its name comes from the fact that this dinosaur had a textured skull.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © mj0007/iStock via Getty Images
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