The researchers have discovered fossil bone fragments of sauropod dinosaurs dating back to about 100 million years in an area near Meghalaya's West Khasi Hills district. The findings were made during a recent field trip by researchers from the Geological Survey of India's Palaeontology division in the Northeast. However, the findings of the research are yet to be published.
The researchers noted that this is the first-ever record of sauropods of probable Titanosaurian origin discovered in the Northeast region. Sauropod dinosaurs had very long necks, tails, and small heads relative to the rest of their body. They had four thick, pillar-like legs. They are known for their enormous sizes attained by some species, and the group includes the largest animals to have ever lived on land.
Meghalaya is the fifth state in the country to report Sauropod bones having titanosaurian affinity, said the GSI researchers. The other four states are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.
Arindam Roy, Senior Geologist, Palaeontology Division, GSI said that Dinosaur bones from Meghalaya were reported in 2001. However, they were too fragmentary and ill-preserved to understand its taxonomic identification.
He further said that the present finds were discovered during fieldwork in 2019-2020 and 2020-21. The last visit of the team was in February 2021. The fossils are presumably of Late Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago. He added that a detailed study on the same is going on.
The Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur belonged to the titanosaurian clade and has been reported from the Lameta Formation of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and Kallamedu Formation of Tamil Nadu.
The researchers recovered more than twenty-five disarticulated, mostly fragmentary bone specimens of different sizes. However, most of the recovered bones are partially petrified and partially replaced. Therefore, only three of the best-preserved ones could be studied.