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150-million-year-old dinosaur footprints found in India

In a latest discovery in India, the footprints of Eubrontes Gleneronsensis Theropod dinosaurs have been found in the Thaiyat area of Jaisalmer district. A team from the geological department of Jainarayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, discovered 150 million-year-old footprints of the Eubrontes Gleneronsensis Theropod dinosaurs in Lathi formation of Jaisalmer district. These dinosaurs were 1-3 metres in height, carnivorous in nature and seem to belong to the coastal environment.

150-million-year-old dinosaur footprints found in India
Tracks left by Eubrontes Gleneronsensis Theropod dinosaurs found in the Thaiyat area of Jaisalmer district 
[Credit: TNN]
It is to be mentioned that fossils of Eubrontes Theropod dinosaurs have been found worldwide in France, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Australia and the USA. Dinosaurs' eggs, bones, teeth have already been recorded in India, but the footprints of Eubrontes Gleneronsensis Theropod dinosaurs have been discovered for the first time by Dr Virendra Singh Parihar, Dr Suresh Chandra Mathur and Dr Shankar Lal Nama (department of geology and zoology, JNVU, Jodhpur).

Geologist and scientist Dr Virendra Singh Parihar said, "Morphologically, footprints of Eubrontes Gleneronsesis Theropod dinosaurs are large about 30 cm long, tridactyle, strong with thick toes. Based on the size of footprints the body is estimated to be 1-3m tall and 5-7m in length."

He said the dinosaur life represents beach or coastal environment. "We are already working to discover flying and marine reptiles from India. The Katrol formation of Kutch basin and Baisakhi formation of Jaisalmer basin are very potential sites for remains or fossils of dinosaurs, flying and marine reptiles.

Professor S C Mathur, former head of the department of geology, JNV University, opined that the discovered footprints of this species of dinosaur have been found in India for the first time. This discovery might open new vistas in searching dinosaur fossils in equivalent rocks.

This is more important as Prof. Mathur along with his team discovered mass mortality horizon (bone bed) containing fossils of dinosaur, crocodile, gastropods and fishes from Fategarh formation with magnetic spherules.

According to Prof. Mathur, this discovery shows the cause and effect relationship and can help to solve the mystery of the extinction of dinosaurs.

It was known since long that the sea transgressed the Kutch and Jaisalmer Basins during the Jurassic period (180 mya) and regressed during the Cretaceous period (65 mya).

More intensive fieldwork in the Kutch and Jaisalmer basins suggest that after the main transgression during early Jurassic Period the sea-level changed several times. This is evident from the spatial and temporal distribution of sediments, record of bioturbation in general and trace of fossils in particular, faunal distribution and several post depositional structures.

Author: Vimal Bhatia | Source: The Times of India [June 13, 2016]

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