A Jaisalmer scientist has discovered a possible dinosaur egg in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan
Last month, a dinosaur fossil discovered in the heart of the Thar Desert sparked global interest, highlighting Rajasthan’s rich paleontological history. A research team had just introduced the world to the oldest known Dicraeosaurus dinosaur – Tharosaurus indicus – A long-necked herbivore found in India for the first time.
But it seems that the Thar is hiding more secrets.
Not even a month after the previous discovery, a possible dinosaur egg fossil was unearthed at Jethwai-Jagrub Sagar in Jaisalmer, in the same area, which is 167 million years old. Tharosaurus He was laid to rest.
Dr Narayan Das Enkhia, an experienced geologist from Jaisalmer, was in the midst of a routine study when he stumbled upon a mysterious egg fossil, perhaps hidden for eons in Bhim Kunj, near the Jagrub Sagar Hills.
Since these rock fields date back to the Jurassic period (145 to 200 million years ago) of the Mesozoic era, Dr. Enkhia estimated the age of the fossil at about 180 million years.
The egg fossil is about 1 to 1.5 inches long and weighs about 100 grams. Despite its uncanny resemblance to a chicken egg, Dr Enkhia placed his bets on the egg belonging to a dinosaur or perhaps another long-forgotten inhabitant from the same era.
However, further investigation is needed to confirm the origin of the egg.
The egg will be sent to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in Jaipur before embarking on the journey to the paleontology laboratory in Lucknow. There, a team of experts will carefully examine the egg to conduct a carbon dating exercise to determine its age and uncover its origin story.
Although the discovery of a potential dinosaur egg is exciting for the Indian paleontological scene, it could also help us understand climate change better.
It is worth noting that as we make these discoveries in desert landscapes, today’s Thar may have looked very different millions of years ago.
Previous studies based on fossil evidence have shown that about 55 million years ago, the area may have been covered by lush tropical forest. More recently, other research has warned of desert greening caused by climate change with the potential expansion of the southwest monsoon westward.
Such fossil finds therefore provide crucial insights into how climate change has shaped the ecological balance in Rajasthan over a millennium and help us better prepare for a rapidly changing future.
(With inputs from TOI)
For weather, science and COVID-19 updates on the go, download Weather channel app (On Android and iOS store). It’s free!