Sauropods discovered in Meghalaya

Context

  • Researchers have identified fossil bone fragments of long-necked dinosaurs called Sauropods, dating back to about 100-million-years from an area around West Khasi Hills District in Meghalaya.

About Sauropods

  • The GSI researchers noted that this is the first record of sauropods of probable Titanosaurian origin discovered in the region.
  • Sauropods had very long necks, long tails, small heads relative to the rest of their body, and four thick, pillar-like legs.
  • They are notable for the enormous sizes attained by some species, and the group includes the largest animals to have ever lived on land.

    Sauropods
    Source: The Hindu

  • The finding makes Meghalaya the fifth state in India after Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu and the only state in the North-East to report Sauropod bones having titanosaurian affinity.
  • Titanosaurs were a diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs, including genera from Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica.
  • Titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs were the most diverse and abundant large-bodied terrestrial herbivores in the Southern Hemisphere landmasses during the Cretaceous Period but they were not endemic to the Gondwanan landmasses.
  • Gondwana is the southern half of the Pangaean supercontinent that existed some 300 million years ago and is composed of the major continental blocks of South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Antarctica, and Australia.
  • In India, the Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur generally belong to the titanosaurian clade and has been reported from the Lameta Formation of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and Kallamedu Formation of Tamil Nadu.

Source: The Hindu


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