In News: A team of researchers from the University of Delhi has discovered a unique set of fossilised dinosaur eggs, with one egg nesting within the other at the Dinosaur Fossil National Park, in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh.
- While eggs-within-eggs are rare phenomena, they are so far known to occur only in birds and have never known in reptiles.
- This discovery brings out newer connections between reptilian and avian evolution.
- Dinosaurs of the Sauropod family were among the largest land animals that have ever lived and were widespread millions of years ago in the territory that is now India.
- Fossils of these animals have been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh as well as Meghalaya.
- Latest findings, documented 52 titanosaurid sauropod nests near Padlya village close to Bagh town in Madhya Pradesh. One of these nests consisted of 10 eggs, one of which was the “abnormal” egg.
- The egg has two continuous and circular eggshell layers separated by a wide gap like that observed in birds.
- It was believed that dinosaurs had a reproductive function similar to that of turtles and other reptiles (unsegmented oviduct) in contrast to segmented reproductive tract of crocodiles and birds with separate regions of membrane and shell deposition.
- The finding of ovum-in-ovo egg from a titanosaurid nest opens up the possibility that sauropod dinosaurs had an oviduct morphology similar to those of crocodiles or birds and they may have adapted to a mode of an egg-laying characteristic of birds
The new find highlights the fact that Central and Western India hold great potential for dinosaur fossils which may offer important information on dinosaur diversity, nesting behaviour and reproductive biology, the authors note.
Source: The Hindu
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to (2019)
- fossils of a kind of dinosaurs
- an early human species
- a cave system found in North-East India
- a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent