Cretaceous Park, Tamil Nadu

The most important science news the past week has been Ardi: Science had a special issue; there was extensive media coverage both in print and radio; Discovery channel is telecasting a documentary next week. At the same time news of the the 4.4 million year old hominid species that lived in the Afar Rift region of northeastern Ethiopia came out, there was news from India, of a 65 million year old find – of Dinosaur eggs.

On a sultry afternoon on September 12 this year, Ramkumar and his research students went to Ariyalur to scour the rocks and sediments as part of a study funded by Indian and German scientific institutions. As they paused by a stream on a grazing land at Sendurai, they found spherical-shaped fossils peeping out of the sand beds. “We got really excited. As I have seen a dinosaur egg, I was sure these were dinosaur eggs,” said Ramkumar.
A quick digging revealed clusters of eggs beneath seven layers of sand spread over two sqkm. The eggs may not have hatched due to the Deccan volcanic eruptions or seasonal flooding, surmise the team. “We suspect the extinction of dinosaurs was triggered by the Deccan volcano. Volcanic ashes cap the eggs,” said one researcher. [India’s Jurassic nest dug up in Tamil Nadu]

National Geographic has a photo of the egg. Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi has the analysis of the eggs belonging to the Cretaceous period.