A potential dinosaur egg fossil has been unearthed in Jaisalmer’s Jethwai-Gajroop Sagar by Dr. Narayan Das Inkhiya, a seasoned groundwater scientist from Jaisalmer.
Earlier in the same area, the 167-million-year-old fossil of Tharosaurus was unearthed one month back.
- Tharosaurus indicus is the oldest known dicraeosaurus dinosaur, a long-necked herbivore found in India for the first time.
- Dr Narayan Das Inkhiya, a seasoned groundwater scientist from Jaisalmer, was in the midst of a routine study when he stumbled upon an enigmatic egg fossil, possibly hidden for aeons at Bhim Kunj, near the Gajroop Sagar hills.
- Gajroop Sagar hills date back to the Jurassic period (145 to 200 million years ago) from the Mesozoic era, so Dr Inkhiya estimated the age of the egg fossil to be about 180 million years old.
- For further examination, eggs will be sent to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in Jaipur before embarking on the journey to Lucknow’s palaeontology laboratory.
- Such fossil discoveries thus offer crucial insights into how climate change has shaped the ecological balance over Rajasthan over a millennium and help us better prepare for a fast-changing future.
- Previous studies based on fossil evidence have shown that some 55 million years ago, the region might have been covered by a lush tropical forest. More recently, another research warned of a climate change-induced greening of the desert with the potential westward expansion of the southwest monsoon.
Akal Wood Fossil Park
Jaisalmer, known as the Golden City, is home to Akal Wood Fossil Park.
- The park is known for its unique collection of fossilized trees and plants, estimated to be around 180 million years old.
- The park was discovered in 1947 by a geologist named Dr. Amni, who noticed the presence of fossilized wood in the area.
- Later, the Geological Survey of India conducted detailed studies and excavations in the area, which led to the discovery of many fossilized trees and plants.
- The Geological Survey of India declared the site a National Geological Monument in 1972. The park was maintained by GSI till 1985, when maintenance was handed over to the Forest Department of Government of Rajasthan.