100-million year old bones of sauropod dinosaurs discovered in Meghalaya
As India has never been a hotbed for dinosaur fossils, the news of a fresh discovery certainly piques the interest levels of all dino enthusiasts.In the West Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, 100-million-year old fossil bone fragments of sauropod dinosaurs have been found by researchers of the Geological Survey of India (GSI).The bone fragments were collected from poorly sorted, purplish to greenish arkosic sandstone that was interlaid with pebbly beds. Reports said that more than 25 disarticulated, mostly fragmentary bone specimens were recovered, which are of different sizes and occur as isolated specimens.The GSI researchers noted that this was the first record of sauropods of probable Titanosaurian origin discovered in the region, according to a PTI report. The yet-to-be-published findings were made during a recent field trip by the researchers of GSI's Paleontology division in the North-East.Sauropods were characteristed by long necks, long tails, small heads, and four think and pillar-like legs. Some of the sauropod species were notable for their enormous sizes. The group also includes the largest animals to have ever liven on land. Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Brontosaurus are a few examples.Sauropod bones having titanosaurian affinity have been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu previously. Meghalaya is the first state from North_east to report the discovery of the fossils."Dinosaur bones from Meghalaya were reported by GSI in 2001 but they were too fragmentary and ill-preserved to understand its taxonomic identification," said Arindam Roy, Senior Geologist, Palaeontology Division, GSI."The present find of bones is during fieldwork in 2019-2020 and 2020-21. The last visit of the team was in February 2021. The fossils are presumably of Late Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago," Roy told PTI.Roy noted that the best-preserved fossils are limb bones. He also said that conclusions have been drawn from only preliminary studies for now and detailed work is ongoing.The largest bone and is a partially preserved limb bone, 55 centimeters in length.