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 coming out of Angola, or the task being undertaken to analyze into the bizarre Dinosauria fauna that after roamed the prehistoric island of Hateg in southern Europe. Other scientists may touch upon the amazing Early Cretaceous dinosaur discoveries which can be being made around town of Winton in Queensland (Australia), however, it is essential that the fossil discoveries being produced in India aren’t overlooked.
The Geology of India
India is a huge country with extensive Mesozoic-aged formations which can be just beginning to reveal proof of the amazing creatures that roamed what was to end up being the Asian sub-continent. The real history of dinosaur discovery in India actually dates back a extended way. what dinosaur has 500 teeth The very first recorded dinosaur find was made in that country more than one hundred and eighty years back, even before the term Dinosauria was coined and the Dinosauria established as a sub-Order of the Reptilia. After a hundred and thirty four years the initial dinosaur fossil described from India has been re-discovered, ironically between the assortment of the Geological Survey of India at their Kolkata head-office.
Early Palaeontology on the Sub-Continent
In the days of the British Empire, when India was regarded while the “jewel in the crown”, the country 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 a Major-General, after having a long and distinguished career in India), led a small expedition to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh (central India). This military expedition using its accompanying geologists and cartographers mapped the strata in the area. This strata is now 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, a lot 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 in terms of size. It absolutely was this military expedition that found the initial proof of 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, produced in 1828 was only four years after the Reverend William Buckland had described the initial dinosaur (Megalosaurus bucklandii) and many years ahead of the eminent English anatomist Sir Richard Own established the Dinosauria as the term used to explain these “terrible, fearfully great lizards” ;.Sir Richard Owen established the term Dinosauria – the dinosaurs in April 1842, although he later alluded to the fact that he’d produce the term earlier (August 1841).
The Indian specimen was really just one, caudal vertebra (part of the tail), of a sizable, herbivorous dinosaur. It absolutely was passed amongst numerous distinguished Victorian scientists until 1877 when no record of where it was could be found. This dinosaur fossil, which had lain undiscovered for countless years was lost to science from 1877 until April 2012 when it was discovered by members of the Geological Survey of India who were re-assessing the fossil heritage of the sub-continent. It absolutely was an opportunity discovery, the specimen having resided in the assortment 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 were studied by the English naturalist and geologist Richard Lydekker, who’d joined the organisation which was to end up being the Geological Survey of India back 1874. It absolutely was Lydekker who formally named and described the specimen in 1877, establishing a new genus of dinosaur – Titanosaurus indicus. Â The newly, re-discovered tail bone is a holotype, a specimen upon which the initial description of an organism is based. The specimen really has the initial 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 produced by Lydekker and stored on the initial floor at the headquarters of the Geological Survey of India.
Negotiating with Museums
The Indian team are searching for more fossils which were presumed lost and to simply help to fix a puzzle which involves the Natural History Museum in London. Several British expeditions explored the fossil beds of the Lameta Formation in the first part of the 20th Century. Many specimens were subsequently taken from India to the then British Museum (now the Natural History Museum), in London. As part of an ongoing international research programme to map India’s vertebrate fossils, scientists are hoping to be able to identify Indian dinosaurs between the collection at the Natural History Museum.
The Geological Survey of India team are optimistic that any dinosaur specimens which they can trace to the Natural History Museum collection will undoubtedly be returned to India for further study and to be united with other Indian dinosaur specimens. Just like the fossil found by Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Sleeman, a hundred and eight four years back, many of these fossils are holotypes and the only real known fossil evidence for numerous dinosaur species that seem to be unique to the sub-continent.
The caudal vertebra, now back the catalogued assortment of the Indian survey team represents the initial Titanosaur fossil to be scientifically studied and as such it’s regarded as a critical specimen for the global research into the evolutionary history of these Sauropod dinosaurs.
Perhaps more to the point, while the Indian economy strengthens and the country emerges as a worldwide super-power there is 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 have important artifacts such as for instance dinosaur fossils returned for their country as curiosity about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals grows.
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