Timely preservation

Published: Saturday 15 May 2010

On what led to the find

In 1984, GSI started an excavation in Gujarat and unearthed several dinosaur nesting sites. One nest had bones entangled with a crushed egg and a dinosaur baby. Palaeontologist Jeffrey Wilson’s analysis showed the fossil to contain a snake with a head atop. Wilson had been in India to study the similarity between fossils of Australian and Indian reptiles. This is because the Indian plate was joined to the Australian landmass until the dinosaurs’ era.

On the implication of the find

About 70 million years ago (the late Cretaceous period), a global mass extinction wiped out dinosaurs. One school of thought blames a meteor for it. The other view stresses on the Deccan volcanic eruption. Our study says dinosaurs existed in India even after the period of extra terrestrial impact which is 67 million years ago. The Deccan volcano eruption started 69 million years ago and ended 61 million years ago. It stands to reason the eruption annihilated dinosaurs from the face of this earth.

On what is next on agenda

Several other prehistoric reptiles like crocodiles and turtles existed around the late Cretaceous period. We want to excavate more potential sites in Gujarat and Central India.

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