In a paper published recently, scientists from IIT Roorkee have characterised dinosaur fossils from the Middle Jurassic period, found in the Thar desert near the Jaisalmer Basin by the Geological Survey of India
About Tharosaurus indicus:
- It belongs to the family Dicraeosauridae and from the superfamily Diplodocoidea.
- These fossils are the first dicraeosaurid sauropods to have been found in India.
- It is 167 million years old and oldest known diplodocoid fossils in the world.
- The scientists named the dinosaur Tharosaurus indicus, with Tharo deriving from the Thar desert; saurus from the Greek ‘sauros’, or lizard; and indicus from its Indian origin.
- This family was unique: its members were smaller and had shorter necks and tails compared to the other long-necked sauropods.
- Sauropods first appeared on the earth during the Jurassic period, about 200 million years ago.
- They were one of the most dominant clades of dinosaurs, surviving until the late Cretaceous period 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs went extinct.
- According to the scientists, fossils of dicraeosaurid dinosaurs have been found previously in North and South Americas, Africa and China, but such fossils were not known from India.
Q1) What is Mesozoic Era?
It is one of the three major geological eras in Earth's history, spanning approximately 180 million years from about 251 million years ago to 66 million years ago. It is often referred to as the "Age of Dinosaurs" because it was during this era that dinosaurs became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates.