Do Hindu scriptures acknowledge the presence of Dinosaurs?
In any case, we do find a reference to what easily could be understood to be dinosaurs in Srimad Bhagavatam when demons and demigods rode strange creatures into battle.
grdhraih kankair bakair anye syena-bhasais timingilaih sarabhair mahisaih khadgair go-vrsair gavayarunaih sivabhir akhubhih kecit krkalasaih sasair naraih bastair eke krsna-sarair hamsair anye ca sukaraih anye jala-sthala-khagaih sattvair vikrta-vigrahaih senayor ubhayo rajan vivisus te ’grato ’gratah
“O King, some soldiers fought on the backs of vultures, eagles, ducks, hawks and bhasa birds. Some fought on the backs of timingilas, which can devour huge whales, some on the backs of sarabhas, and some on buffalo, rhinoceroses, cows, bulls, gavaya [jungle cows] and arunas. Others fought on the backs of jackals, rats, krkalasa, rabbits, human beings, goats, black deer, swans and boars. In this way, mounted on animals of the water, land and sky, including animals with deformed bodies [vikrta-vigraha], both armies faced each other and went forward.” (Bhag. 8.10.10-12 – The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons)
Here we find a fantastical description of the vahanas used in a great battle in horary antiquity, but some of the creatures described have no English or Indo-Aryan equivalent such as bhasa, sarabhas, timingila, gavaya, arunas, krkalasa and vikrta-vigraha. So what are these creatures and why do they have no equivalent names in modern languages? Could they be extinct? Could any of these have been what we now call dinosaurs? We think so. The mere fact that the timingila is mentioned is proof enough that some of these creatures are going to be formidable predators – which ones?
Vikrta-vigraha translates as ‘animals with deformed bodies’ and krkalasa translates as ‘big lizard’. So when one’s opponent is riding a vicious animal like a rhinoceros or a timingila — then is riding an ordinary lizard into battle a good idea, even a big one? Krkalasa is a ‘big lizard’ — think dinosaur! And vikrta-vigraha are ‘animals with deformed bodies’ — think dinosaur! In any case, no vahana mentioned here could have been ordinary, – even the human vahanas must have been giants. So it is intelligent to think that if one takes these narratives to be true in the first place, then what we think of today as dinosaurs could surely be among the vahanas mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam.
The gavaya mentioned in the above verse translates as ‘jungle cow’ and interestingly enough these ‘jungle cows’ (also known in modern Hindi as nila-gaya, blue cows) still exist in and around Vrndavana, India and, like the Makara, they have the distinct characteristic of three animals — a cow, a horse and a deer. Once seeing these strange animals there is no argument that they are a ’three in one’ creature. So why not a Makara with a mouth of a crocodile, a body of a fish, and a tail of a peacock? You just haven’t seen one yet. But it looks like the archaeologists in England are on to something with their recent discovery of the Pliosaur.
It is true that the krkalasa and bhasa are not easily equated with Tyrannosaurus Rex and Pterodactyl, but then again, why not? It seems to be a matter of putting one and one together and moving on.
Yes – there were dinosaurs mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and possibly other places in the vast Vedic literature. Unfortunately, it has been the thinking of some theists that the scientists have falsified dinosaur remains (“The Devil put them there”) simply to give credit to the evolutionary theory. But I think it is safe to say that such does not stand against the repeated discoveries of dinosaurs in different parts of the world and even in India.
Source: srimad bhagavatam
The subtext of this question is finding scientific evidence in religion or mythology.
One of the fundamental mistakes in understanding a religion is confusing mythology and science and attempting to find scientific evidence in mythology. Science is a set of working hypotheses based on facts tested and proven at that point in time. Mythology on the other hand should be treated like poetry and should not be confused with empirical science. In other words, one should not attempt to find factualism and historicity in mythology.
Whether a dinosaur or a dinosaur like creature appears in Hindu mythology is moot. The symbol and the meaning that the mythic image evokes in its context to an individual is what is important.
The question the extinction of dinosaur is a scientific one and there is a lot of information out there. Here is a link from Wikipedia
Yali is a mythical creature seen in many Hindu temples, often sculpted onto the pillars. It may be portrayed as part lion, part elephant and part horse, and in similar shapes. Also, it has been sometimes described as a leogryph (part lion and part griffin), with some bird-like features.
If you look closely at the statue Yali will have an Elephant below it. we can assume that the sculptor compared the size of the elephant with the Yali, Now you get the idea how big Yali is.