Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Dinosaur Rises From Fossil Bones In India

Date:
August 15, 2003
Source:
University Of Chicago
Summary:
A stocky, carnivorous dinosaur with an unusual head crest that has been identified from bones collected in India belongs to a significant line of predatory dinosaurs known from the southern continents.

A stocky, carnivorous dinosaur with an unusual head crest that has been identified from bones collected in India belongs to a significant line of predatory dinosaurs known from the southern continents.

The discovery represents the first skull ever assembled of a dinosaur of any kind in India. “It’s fabulous to be able to see this dinosaur, which lived as the age of dinosaurs came to a close,” said University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno. “It was a significant predator that was related to species on continental Africa, Madagascar and South America.”

Stored at a regional geological survey office in Jaipur, India, the 65-million-year-old bones turned into a dinosaur before paleontologists’ eyes. The joint Indian-American research was led by Sereno, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Jeff Wilson of the University of Michigan, Suresh Srivastava of the Geological Survey of India and Ashok Sahni of Panjab University. The research was funded by the National Geographic Society.

The team has named the new animal Rajasaurus narmadensis, which means “regal dinosaur from the Narmada”; the bones were found near the Narmada River in western India. The new species will be described in the Contributions of the Museum of Paleontology of the University of Michigan (August 2003). Casts of the dinosaur’s skull will be donated by the team to Panjab University and the Geological Survey of India.

Co-leader Jeff Wilson said the 30-foot-long dinosaur was heavy and strong and would have pursued a diet that included the long-necked sauropod dinosaurs that roamed the Narmada region. It had a distinctive look. “There is a bone that protruded from the top of its head, so we think it had some kind of horn on topŃits closest relatives had either one horn or two,” he said.

Dinosaur skeletons are rare in India, in part because the terrain renders many of the key geological formations inaccessible to digging. Scant traces of the new species had been gathered in India over the past century, Sereno said, but no reconstruction was possible. Then, in 1983, Sahni and Srivastava led a major expedition to the Narmada region, collecting hundreds of bones. Working with the Indian paleontologists, Sereno and Wilson decided to take a look at the collection.

The team members found bones of both meat-eating dinosaurs (theropods) and plant-eating dinosaurs (sauropods), but focused on the meat-eater when they found the center part of a skull. “Then we found the left hip, then a right, then a sacrum,” Sereno said.

A detailed map drawn by Srivastra in 1983 had documented the position of each fossil bone as it lay in the field. “So we got a marker and started coloring in each bone on the map. As we sat there all dirty on the floor, we suddenly realized that a partial skeleton of a meat-eater had been discovered,” Sereno said. “We could see one individual dinosaur.”

The dinosaur lived in India before the Himalayas existed. “Rajasaurus offers us a glimpse of the animals that lived on India during its northern migration towards Asia at the end of the dinosaur era,” Wilson said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago. "New Dinosaur Rises From Fossil Bones In India." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030815074441.htm>.
University Of Chicago. (2003, August 15). New Dinosaur Rises From Fossil Bones In India. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030815074441.htm
University Of Chicago. "New Dinosaur Rises From Fossil Bones In India." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030815074441.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

AP (Sep. 12, 2014) — As the Star-Spangled Banner celebrates its bicentennial, Smithsonian curators are still uncovering fragments of the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem. (Sept. 12) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — New research has shown that the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, might have been just as well suited for life in the water as on land. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

AFP (Sep. 11, 2014) — Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was adapted for both land and water, and an exhibit featuring a life-sized model, based on new fossils unearthed in eastern Morocco, opens at the National Geographic Museum in Washington on Friday. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NatGeo Unveils Life-Size 'Spinosaurus'

NatGeo Unveils Life-Size 'Spinosaurus'

AP (Sep. 11, 2014) — Scientists announced new findings about the first ever non-bird dinosaur that could have lived much of its time in the water. National Geographic created a life-size 50-foot model of the prehistoric creature. (Sept. 11) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins