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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dinosaur eggs are found in India

By Jyotsna Singh


Dinosaur egg found at the Tamil Nadu site
The find has been likened to the discovery of a treasure trove

Geologists in southern India say they have found hundreds of dinosaur egg clusters which could be about 65 million years old.

It was a chance find discovered when a team of scientists were locating a place to excavate an ancient riverbed in the state of Tamil Nadu.

As they dug deeper they saw layers of what looked like fossilised eggs.

The photos and samples were then sent to various universities who confirmed that they were dinosaur eggs.

Each egg is the size of a football - about 13 to 23cm in diameter, lying buried in sandy nests.

The leader of the team, MU Ramkumar, told the BBC the finding is significant and could help to unravel the mystery about the extinction of dinosaurs.

'Infertile'

"The important finding is that these eggs have been found in different layers that means the dinosaurs came to the place over and over year after year," he said.

Sauropod dinosaur
Sauropods are renowned for their size

"The second important thing is that we have got volcanic ash deposits on the eggs which suggests that volcanic activity could have caused their extinction.

"The other thing we have found is that all these eggs are unhatched and infertile. So what made the eggs infertile? We need to carry out further studies to learn more from the findings."

Scientists believe the eggs belong to the docile leaf-eating Sauropod branch of dinosaurs. Their remains have been dug up on every continent, including Antarctica.

Palaeontologists use the term to describe large, four-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs with bulky bodies, long necks and tails and tiny heads with relatively small brains.

Dr Ramkumar and his team have called on the central and state governments to protect what they are calling a "Jurassic treasure trove".

The presence of dinosaur eggs was first recorded in the same district by a British geologist in the 1860s. In the 1990s a dinosaur egg was found in a government-owned factory in the state.

Original here

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