In quieter moments when palaeontologists are shown the opportunity to reflect on the current hot-spots for dinosaur discoveries thoughts may turn to the exciting fossil finds coming out of Angola, or the work being undertaken to research in to 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 town of Winton in Queensland (Australia), however, it is essential that the fossil discoveries being manufactured in India aren’t overlooked.
The Geology of India
India is just a huge country with extensive Mesozoic-aged formations which are just beginning to reveal proof of the amazing creatures that roamed the thing that was to become 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 several hundred and eighty years ago, even before the term Dinosauria was coined and the Dinosauria established as a sub-Order of the Reptilia. After one hundred and thirty four years the initial dinosaur fossil described from India has been re-discovered, ironically amongst the number 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 had been mapped and explored by her colonial masters. In 1828, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Sleeman of the Bengal Army (later knighted and becoming a Major-General, after a long and distinguished career in India), led a tiny 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 is currently referred to as the Lameta Formation and it contains Upper Cretaceous aged rocks (Maastrichtian faunal stage). The Lameta Formation is fabled for its Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils, a lot of them unique to this 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 first proof of dinosaurs in India. W. H. Sleeman is credited with locating a twenty centimetre long, isolated bone from the thing that was later to be termed a dinosaur.
Discovery of Titanosaurs
The discovery, manufactured in 1828 was just 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 he had develop the term earlier (August 1841).
The Indian specimen was actually an individual, caudal vertebra (part of the tail), of a large, herbivorous dinosaur. It absolutely was passed amongst several distinguished Victorian scientists until 1877 when no record of where it absolutely was could be found. This dinosaur fossil, which had lain undiscovered for millions of years was lost to science from 1877 until April 2012 when it absolutely was discovered by members of the Geological Survey of India have been re-assessing the fossil heritage of the sub-continent. It absolutely was a chance discovery, the specimen having resided in the number 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 that was to become the Geological Survey of India in 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 just a holotype, a specimen upon which the first description of an organism is based. The specimen still has the first labels – 2193 and 2194 about it which are clearly visible, the classification given to this fossil by Lydekker. The fossil was located amongst the vertebrate fossils in the catalogued collection created by Lydekker and stored on the first floor at the headquarters of the Geological Survey of India.
Negotiating with Museums
The Indian team are looking for more fossils that were presumed lost and to simply help to fix a puzzle which involves the Natural History Museum in London. A number of British expeditions explored the fossil beds of the Lameta Formation in the early area 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 manage to identify Indian dinosaurs amongst 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 is going 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, one hundred and eight four years ago, many of these fossils are holotypes and the only known fossil evidence for several dinosaur species that seem to be unique to the sub-continent.
The caudal vertebra, now in the catalogued number of the Indian survey team represents the initial Titanosaur fossil to be scientifically studied and therefore it’s regarded as a vital specimen for the global research in to the evolutionary history of those Sauropod dinosaurs.
Perhaps more importantly, whilst the Indian economy strengthens and the united states emerges as a worldwide super-power there’s a powerful 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 instance dinosaur fossils returned with their country as curiosity about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals grows.
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