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DINOSAUR AND FOSSIL PARK AT INP :

                       - Recreating the age of Dinosaurs

     “Dinosaur” the very world evokes magical images of giant prehistoric reptiles that walked on our planet 65 million years ago and then astonishingly vanished from the face of the earth forever. From uncompromising adults to wide-eyed children these mega monsters fascinate all sections of the society. It is true to suggest that dinosaurs gained instant worldwide recognition due to the spectacular movie “The Jurassic Park” directed ably by that gifted genius Steven Spielberg. Once the media took to these prehistoric animals there has been no stopping them… dinosaurs have now found themselves thrust, albeit unwillingly into the spotlight in the most unlikely of places from books, videos, cds, to commercials and even the covers fashionable magazines. Dinosaur popularity especially among the children has resulted in a mass media blitz and commercialization of this interest generated is now a common phenomenon.

Dinosaur National Parks have been set up and these places where large remains of dinosaurs have been excavated are considered to be of paramount geological and palaeontological. Scientists have spent over a hundred and fifty years studying these creatures and though there is still much to learn, we are much closer to understanding them than we were during any time in the last century. Dinosaur skeletons continue to be excavated every few weeks and through the latest technological advances made, scientists studying them are capable of making new path breaking discoveries. Among the primary objectives of the vertebrate palaeontologists studying these creatures is trying to unravel the mystery that surrounds their dramatic disappearance from the face to the earth so as to prepare ourselves for any future unwelcome event.

Gujarat is one of the few states of India that contains a wealth of dinosaur fossilized remains besides also possessing a chilling reminder to their perhaps unceremonious exit due to a catastrophe. It is perhaps fair to state that Gujarat boasts of having at Rahioli in Kheda district one among the most abundant of hatcheries in the world comparable to those discovered in China, Mangolia, USA and Argentina, This unique occurrence of the dinosaurian eggs, hones, skin impressions and in some cases even coprolites suggest a widespread presence of dinosaurs in Gujarat especially the Late Cretaceous period.

GEER Foundation Gandhinagar has taken up the task of preparing a dinosaur fossil park at Indroda wherein the fossilized remains as well as life – sized models of this prehistoric fauna of Gujarat will be displayed. Their ecosystem depicting the floral diversity with pines, palm, ferns and other early angiosperms such as magnolias will be grown to make the set up seem life like. The park has already begun to take shape and is being prepared based on an elaborate plan drawn up by the officers of GEER Foundation in consultation with the geologists of the Geological Survey of India (Operation Gujarat) Western Region. GEER Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Geological Survey of India, Gandhinagar wherein the technical know how will be provided by the geologists belonging to this premier geological institution. The park is an attempt to create public awareness among the local citizens regarding the wealth of ancient flora and fauna of our stage. The park will be built in three main stages depicting various geological periods of the earth’s enormous geological time span with special emphasis on those period important with respect to Gujarat. The first stage is centered around the Cretaceous period (Creta from Latin for chalk) that time in the earth’s past when Gujarat was a flourishing ground for a number of dinosaur species as was much of the Gondwanaland and Laurasia land masses, part of the them super continent, Pangaea. India was on its way of where it lies today starting a grand journey that has over millions of years covered many thousands of miles. This was the time of the first angiosperms, the first pollinating insects and also the time when our earth was on the verge of being hit by a cataclysmic asteroid, that which resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs and also of pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs and the ammonites.

The students of MSU Faculty of Fine Arts have been preparing the life – sized models of dinosaurs that feely roamed these parts of Gujarat along with other significant reptiles including crocodiles and pterousaurs besides amphibians and the earliest shrew like mammal, a very miniature form of the modern day mammals. The dinosaurs on display along with all the necessary information indicating their age, behaviour pattern and significant characters including their etymological origins can be seen. The models have been made in fiber glass and resin and these include Deinonychus ‘terrible claw”, a carnivore, swift, agile and fearsome always attacking in packs, Tyrannosaurus-rex without doubt one of the world’s most famous dinosaur, Megalosaurus another theropod much smaller in comparison to T-rex. Besides these a Triceratops and her baby along with a giant Brontosaurus, belonging to the sauropod family of long necked long tained peaceful herbivores and an lguanodon, among dinosaur to get a scientific name can also be seen. These dinosaurs have been reconstructed with the help of the geologists of Geological Survey of India, Gandhinagar especially Dr. Z. G. Ghevaria who provided necessary technical guidance and expertise regarding the external morphology of these animals. All these forms are based on recorded findings discovered over the year and visitors will be able to see and marvel about these creatures in the Park’.

Mammals like crusafontia, zalambdalestes that existed during that period were very small under the dominance of the great reptiles. The models of these mammals are also prepared. Some of the other reptiles like longisquama and deinosuchus have been prepared.

After completion of the Cretaceous section work on the Jurassic period will be undertake wherein two famous Jurassic dinosaurs the Stegosaurus and the Allosaurus will be prepared. Fossils belonging to Kutch primarily will be collected and highlighted especially the “Ammonites” which are a well known group of extinct cephalopods believed to be among the best indicators of a Jurassic environment and also known to occur widely in the region.

The last section will consist of the Tertiary and Quaternary periods part of the “Age of Mammals”– Cenozoic era and this will showcase the exciting range of mammalian evolution and their coming of age. Human origin and development through the last 10,000 year will also traced.
 

DINOSAUR AND FOSSIL PARK AT INP

KALRAV ENCLAVE
  VOLUNTARY INTERPRETERS AT INDRODA NATURE PARK
  List of Wildlife at Indroda Nature Park, Gandhinagar
 
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