In a rare discovery, researchers claimed to have identified fossil bone fragments of sauropod dinosaurs dating back to about 100 million years from an area around West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya.
This is the first time that such a discovery was made in the Northeast region.
The “yet-to-be-published” findings were made during a recent field trip by researchers from the Geological Survey of India’s Palaeontology division in Northeast.
The GSI researchers noted that this is the first record of sauropods of probable Titanosaurian origin discovered in the Northeast 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.
Meghalaya is the fifth state in India, after Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, 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.
“Dinosaur bones from Meghalaya were reported by GSI in 2001 but they were too fragmentary and ill-preserved to understand its taxonomic identification,” Arindam Roy, senior geologist at Palaeontology Division, GSI was quoted as saying in a news report.
“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,” the official reportedly said.