Certainly one of Our own Dinosaurs Is available! India’s Initial Dinosaur Fossil Re-Discovered

In quieter moments when palaeontologists receive the chance to think on the existing hot-spots for dinosaur discoveries thoughts may turn to the exciting fossil finds appearing out of Angola, or the job being undertaken to research into the bizarre Dinosauria fauna that after roamed the prehistoric island of Hateg in southern Europe. Other scientists may comment on the amazing Early Cretaceous dinosaur discoveries which are being made around the city of Winton in Queensland (Australia), however, it is important that the fossil discoveries being made in India are not overlooked.

The Geology of India

India is really a huge country with extensive Mesozoic-aged formations which are just beginning to reveal proof the amazing creatures that roamed what was to become the Asian sub-continent. The history of dinosaur discovery in India actually extends back a lengthy way. what dinosaur has 500 teeth The initial recorded dinosaur find was created in that country several hundred and eighty years ago, even before the word Dinosauria was coined and the Dinosauria established as a sub-Order of the Reptilia. After a hundred and thirty four years the very first dinosaur fossil described from India has been re-discovered, ironically between the collection of the Geological Survey of India at their Kolkata head-office.

Early Palaeontology on the Sub-Continent

In the occasions of the British Empire, when India was regarded whilst the “jewel in the crown”, the united states was being mapped and explored by her colonial masters. In 1828, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Sleeman of the Bengal Army (later knighted and to become Major-General, after a long and distinguished career in India), led a small expedition to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh (central India). This military expedition having its accompanying geologists and cartographers mapped the strata in the area. This strata has become referred to as the Lameta Formation and it consists of Upper Cretaceous aged rocks (Maastrichtian faunal stage). The Lameta Formation is fabled for its Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils, most of them unique to the region. The fossils found include long-necked dinosaurs (Titanosauria) in addition to many Theropods including large Abelisaurids that rivalled the Tyrannosaurs with regards to size. It had been this military expedition that found the initial proof dinosaurs in India. W. H. Sleeman is credited with getting a twenty centimetre long, isolated bone from what was later to be termed a dinosaur.

Discovery of Titanosaurs

The discovery, made in 1828 was only four years following the Reverend William Buckland had described the very first dinosaur (Megalosaurus bucklandii) and several years prior to the eminent English anatomist Sir Richard Own established the Dinosauria as the word used to spell it out these “terrible, fearfully great lizards” ;.Sir Richard Owen established the word Dinosauria – the dinosaurs in April 1842, although he later alluded to the fact he’d develop the word earlier (August 1841).

The Indian specimen was actually just one, caudal vertebra (part of the tail), of a large, herbivorous dinosaur. It had been passed amongst a number of distinguished Victorian scientists until 1877 when no record of where it had been could be found. This dinosaur fossil, which had lain undiscovered for an incredible number of years was lost to science from 1877 until April 2012 when it had been discovered by members of the Geological Survey of India who have been re-assessing the fossil heritage of the sub-continent. It had been the opportunity discovery, the specimen having resided in the collection of the Geological Society of India at their Kolkata head-office.

India’s first dinosaur fossil to be described was discovered by Dr. D. M. Mohabey and Dr. Subhasis Sen of the Geological Survey team. The dinner-plate sized specimen was amongst an accumulation fossils that had been studied by the English naturalist and geologist Richard Lydekker, who’d joined the organisation which was to become the Geological Survey of India in 1874. It had been Lydekker who formally named and described the specimen in 1877, establishing a fresh genus of dinosaur – Titanosaurus indicus. Â The newly, re-discovered tail bone is really a holotype, a specimen upon which the original description of an organism is based. The specimen really has the original labels – 2193 and 2194 about it which are clearly visible, the classification given to the fossil by Lydekker. The fossil was located between the vertebrate fossils in the catalogued collection created by Lydekker and stored on the initial floor at the headquarters of the Geological Survey of India.

Negotiating with Museums

The Indian team are hoping to find more fossils that have been presumed lost and to simply help to resolve a puzzle which involves the Natural History Museum in London. Several British expeditions explored the fossil beds of the Lameta Formation in early part of the 20th Century. Many specimens were subsequently taken from India to the then British Museum (now the Natural History Museum), in London. Included in a continuing international research programme to map India’s vertebrate fossils, scientists are hoping to have the ability to identify Indian dinosaurs between the collection at the Natural History Museum.

The Geological Survey of India team are optimistic that any dinosaur specimens that they have the ability to trace to the Natural History Museum collection is likely to be returned to India for further study and to be united with other Indian dinosaur specimens. Like the fossil found by Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Sleeman, a hundred and eight four years ago, several fossils are holotypes and the only known fossil evidence for a number of dinosaur species that appear to be unique to the sub-continent.

The caudal vertebra, now in the catalogued collection of the Indian survey team represents the very first Titanosaur fossil to be scientifically studied and as a result it’s regarded as a critical specimen for the global research into the evolutionary history of these Sauropod dinosaurs.

Perhaps more to the point, whilst the Indian economy strengthens and the united states emerges as a global super-power there’s a solid demand for improved educational resources and a focus on India’s place and role in the scientific community. It is probable that Indian museums will step up their efforts to possess important artifacts such as for example dinosaur fossils returned with their country as curiosity about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals grows.

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