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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 10:25 EDT

Mahakala

Mahakala is a genus of dinosaur from the Campanian age (80 million years ago) of the Upper Cretaceous Period. It was found in the Djadokhta Formation of Mongolia. It is known from a partial skeleton found in the Gobi Desert. Mahakala is named for one of eight deities from Sanskrit in Tibetan Buddhism.

Mahakala was a very small dinosaur, only about 2.5 feet in length. Despite its late arrival in the dinosaur era, it has primitive characteristics. Its small size is thought to be an early evolution stage in the time before flight capabilities in birds. Other animals found in the region at the time when this dinosaur roamed the Earth include turtles, crocodiles, lizards, mammals, and various other dinosaurs. Aquatic life such as fish was not present. Mahakala was most likely a small active predatory carnivore.

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Mahakala