Rich Fossil Pickings from Gujarat State
Since the turn of the year, Everything Dinosaur has been receiving reports circulated by various Indian universities of further dinosaur fossil discoveries from Kutch district from the state of Gujarat (western India). In a collaboration with German scientists from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Bavaria (southern Germany), field team members from the Department of Geology (Kutch University, Gujarat) and Rajasthan University have uncovered the fragmentary remains of a number of dinosaurs and they have identified around 150 sites which may yield yet more fossil data. The latest discovery includes cranial material, excavated from a location close to Lodai village (Kas Hill). Lodai village itself is located around fifteen miles north-east of the large town of Bhuj.
Field Team Members Explore the Kas Hill Location
Picture credit: the hindu.com
On January 19th, field team members uncovered fragments from the hip bones of a substantial plant-eating dinosaur. In addition, a partial leg bone was discovered. The pieces of bone have been tentatively assigned to the Camarasaurus genus and they may represent some of the oldest dinosaur fossils ever found in India. The fossil material has been dispatched to the Friedrich-Alexander University so that the specimens can undergo radiocarbon dating in a bid to determine an accurate age of the fossils. Preliminary dating work suggests that the bones are at least 135 million years old (Valanginian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous).
Fossil Finds Discovered So Far Including the Dinosaur Bones on Display
Picture credit: ANI
Estimating that these bones came from a sauropod (long-necked) dinosaur measuring around fifteen metres in length, Dr Dhirendra Pandey (University of Rajasthan), explained that such fossils provided information on the mega fauna that inhabited this part of the giant, super-continent of Gondwana. Most of the dinosaur fossils from Gujarat State come rock strata that is actually much younger, dating from the Late Cretaceous.
Commenting on the new discovery, Gaurav Chauhan, from the Geology Department of Kutch University stated:
“The new fossils include skull, jaw and some teeth of a dinosaur. We still have to excavate a lot of material in order to get the fossils out.”
The team are hopeful that more fossil material may be found at this location and that the fossils may represent a new species.
A number of important dinosaur fossil finds have already been reported from this part of India. For example, back in 2010, Everything Dinosaur reported on the remarkable discovery of a titanosaur nest site, which included the remains of a primitive snake that had died whilst attempting to raid a nest.
To read an article about this remarkable fossil find: Baby Dinosaurs Attacked by Snake.