Welcome to dino land

WEB WATCH

Welcome to dino land

Wikipedia defines palaeontology as “the study of ancient life”. This includes evolution, life , organisms and environment. Also known as Historical Science, paleontology tries to explain causes rather than conduct experiments to observe effects. The earliest palaeontological observations were documented as far back as the 5th century BC. However, palaeontology was established as a science only in the 18th century.  Fossils found all over the globe have provided enough evidence of early evolution of animals, amphibians, dinosaurs, birds and mammals. Kuban’s Paleo Place hosted by Glen J Kuban at http://paleo.cc/ kpaleo.htm  is a useful gateway to internet resources on fossils, dinosaurs, palaeontology, natural history and related topics. The links listed under various categories are

General Palaeontology
Museums
Dinosaurs
Tracks & Other Trace Fossils
Vertebrates
Invertebrates
Geological Time
Evolution &  Systematics.

Explore the site
The General Palaeontology section defines palaeontology. Here, you will find answers to questions such as: What is a fossil? Where are fossils found? How are fossils formed? Brief History of Palaeontology, How are rocks and fossils dated? Why collect fossils? How to identify fossils? etc.

The section on Invertebrates covers one or more groups of prehistoric invertebrates.
A sub link on microfossils provides information on invertebrate groups such as brachiopods, corals, bryozoans, crinoids, molluscs, insects and the ever-popular trilobites.

The Vertebrates section includes fish, amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles. As dionosaurs have proved to be popular among visitors, the website has a separate section on them at ‘Glen’s Dinosaur Den’. There are links — over 200  of them — to dinosaurs and related prehistoric creatures, all of them arranged by topic:

Dinosaurs
Dinosaur Tracks
Dinosaurs in Museums
Universities
Parks, Art, Models, Images
Reconstructions

Fossils and early life
Fossils found all over the world are the key to information about early life. Recently, scientists recovered fossils from a 60-million-year-old South American snake whose length and weight might make today’s anacondas seem like lilliputs! Named Titanoboa cerrejonensis by its discoverers, the size of the snake’s vertebrae suggest it weighed around 1,140 kilograms and measured 13 metres, nose to tail tip. A couple of years ago, amateur palaeontologists in India  found a remarkable trove of fossilised  dinosaur eggs, each about the size of a softball, in Madhya Pradesh. These eggs dated back to the Upper Cretaceous period, between 100 and 65 million years ago.

Those who professionally find fossils and extract such information from them are known as palaeontologists. Their work, specialised and greatly motivating, involves extensive travel to historic places. Extensive research work is required to become a qualified palaeontologist.

Qualified palaeontologists are usually employed by archaeological and research institutes. Some also join the teaching profession. Geological Survey of India  regularly offers a course to train the young geologists and biologists in the art of palaeontology.

For details, contact the Geological Survey of India at GSI Complex, Bandlaguda, Hyderabad-500068. You could also e-mail: hyd2_gsitihyd@sancharnet.in.  
GSI hosts a website at http://gsiti.ap.nic.in/17.html.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry