A discovery in Meghalaya by Researchers – 100-Million-Year-Old Sauropod Dinosaur Bones

A discovery in Meghalaya by Researchers - 100-Million-Year-Old Sauropod Dinosaur Bones

Researchers identify fossil bone elements of sauropod dinosaurs which date back to around 100 million years from an area near the West Khasi Hills District in Meghalaya. The findings are yet to be published. These findings were made during the latest ground trip by researchers from the Geological Survey of India’s Palaeontology segment in the North-East. The GSI researchers note that this is the primary record of sauropods of the possible Titanosaurian origin. This is the discovery of that region.

Features of the Sauropods Dinosaurs is as follows:
  • Very long necks
  • Longtails
  • Small heads in comparison to the rest of their body
  • Four thick, pillar-like legs

These dinosaurs are known for the huge sizes obtained by some species. In addition, their group comprises the biggest animals that ever exist on land.

Below is the list of Indian states that report the Sauropod bones having titanosaurian affinity. The states are in the rankings of their report:
  1. Gujarat
  2. Madhya Pradesh
  3. Maharashtra
  4. Tamil Nadu
  5. Meghalaya
Titanosaurs are a varied group of sauropod dinosaurs, comprising genera from the following regions:
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • South America
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Australia
  • Antarctica

Arindam Roy is the Senior Geologist at the Palaeontology Division, GSI. Roy says, “Dinosaur bones from Meghalaya are sent in reports by GSI in 2001 however, they were too fragmentary and ill-preserved to examine its taxonomic verification. The latest findings of bones are at the fieldwork in 2019-2020 and 2020-21. The final visit of the squad was in February 2021. The fossils are assumable of Late Cretaceous, around 100 million years in the past.”

Roy notes that the best-preserved fossils are with characteristics as below are an indication of it being a humerus bone:

  • Limb bones
  • Adding the type of curvature
  • Development of lateral
  • Proximal margins of the partially preserved bone

He, however, notes that the results are drawn from initial research and detailed work is in progress.

Titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs are the most varied and hugely large-bodied terrestrial herbivores in the Southern Hemisphere landmasses. This is during the Cretaceous Period however, they were not endemic to the Gondwanan landmasses, the researchers mention.

Gondwanaland is half south of the Pangaean supercontinent that exists nearly 300 million years ago and is a composition of the key continental blocks as follows:
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Arabia
  • Madagascar
  • Sri Lanka
  • India
  • Antarctica
  • Australia

In India, the Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur, in general, belongs to the titanosaurian clade. The reports are from the Lameta Formation of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra and Kallamedu Formation of Tamil Nadu, the researchers add.

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