Footprints that date back about 200 million years were discovered in India’s Thar Desert and were made by three different dinosaurs. The prints, which were found in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district close to Thaiat village, were made in the sediment of the seashore to the Tethys Ocean. This proves that the three-toed carnivorous dinosaurs did in fact inhabit the western part of the state millions of years ago during the Mesozoic Era.
The three dinosaur species that made the footprints were Eubrontes cf. giganteus, Eubrontes glenrosensis, and Grallator tenuis. The prints belonging to the Eubrontes cf. giganteus and Eubrontes glenrosensis species measured 35 centimeters (13.8 inches), while the one made by the Grallator tenuis was only 5.5 centimeters (2.2 inches).
In an interview with The Hindu, Virendra Singh Parihar, Assistant Professor, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, stated that the three species were all types of theropods. Theropods were bipedal dinosaurs and the ancient ancestors of more than 9,000 of today’s birds. In fact, they were quite similar to modern birds as they had three toes and air-filled hollow bones. Some theropods had feathers and even built nests for their eggs. They were fast and agile which helped them to hunt.
Both of the Eubrontes species were believed to have measured between 12 and 15 meters in length (39 to 49 feet) and weighed between 500 and 700 kilograms (1,102 to 1,543 pounds). The Grallator tenuis, however, was much smaller and about the same height as a really tall human, measuring about two meters tall (6.6 feet) and three meters in length (9.8 feet).
The climate in the region where the dinosaur prints were found was different millions of years ago. Geochemical analysis revealed that the environment in which the dinosaurs lived in was seasonal to semi-arid (this means that it was dry but they did receive some rain) and the researchers also believe that the sea levels changed numerous times during the early part of the Jurassic Period (this was around the same time that the prints were made).
This is hopefully just the first of many more dinosaur-related discoveries in the region as stated by Dr. Parihar, “It is just the beginning of the findings of dinosaur remains in Rajasthan. More discoveries of dinosaur fossils will be made in the near future.” I look forward to seeing what more they will find.
A picture of the footprints can be seen here.
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