Missing bones of India’s first dinosaur found in Kolkata

More than a century after they went missing and after 10 years of extensive search, fossils of India’s first recorded dinosaur have been finally rediscovered.

A three-member team of paleontologists from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the University of Michigan found the original remains of the dinosaur called Titanosaurus indicus (Indian titan reptile) in boxes at the curatorial division of GSI headquarters at Kolkata.

According to the paper published in the January 10 issue of Current Science published by the Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, the bones recovered from the vast fossil vertebrate and invertebrate collection are intact.

“The lineage of dinosaur Titanosaurus is found all over the world including Antarctica, North America, South America, Africa and Madagascar with the first one was found in India. However, it went missing for most of the 20th century and into 21st century,” professor Jeffrey Wilson, Museum of Paleontology and   Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences,  University of Michigan told HT via telephonic interview.

Explaining the significance of the rediscovery, professor Dhananjay Mohabey, deputy director general, GSI (northern region) and lead author of the paper said, “The world was looking at us when we could not find the original specimens that is of global importance. With the Titanosaurus genus based on the Indian specimen, researchers will no longer have to work on bone casts kept at British and American museum.

Apart from remains of the T. indicus, the team also found bones of other species of dinosaurs that were present in India.

 “At the end of the dinosaur era, India began to migrate northwards and made physical contact with Asia,” said Wilson.

Stating that the migration coincided with the massive flood basalt that is present day Deccan plateau, Wilson said, “But the Indian connection continued with the southern world such as Australia and Madagascar and therefore the features of the T. Indicus has the southern world flavour.”



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