MP: India’s lone fossil of world’s oldest animal discovered in Bhimbetka


MP: India’s lone fossil of world’s oldest animal discovered in Bhimbetka

Dickinsonia, one of the world’s rarest fossils, has been discovered in Madhya Pradesh. As per the latest reports, the fossil has been discovered in Bhimbetka rock shelters, which is around 40 km away from the city of Bhopal.

Reportedly, Dickinsonia is an extinct genus of a basal animal, which as per the records, lived during the late Ediacaran period. These fossils are known only in the form of casts and imprints in sandstone beds.

Referring to this discovery, researchers are of the opinion that have traced Dickinsonia on the roof of
Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka, which dates back 570 million years.

As per the reports, the one that has been found in Bhimbetka is around 17 in long, where the ones that have been found in other parts of the world exceeded 4 ft in length.

The fossil was lying hidden in plain sight, and was discovered by chance by two experts from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) when they went ahead to explore Bhimbetka ahead of the 36th International Geological Congress.

Reports have it that the experts initially spotted the 11 ft leaf-like impression above the ground, which almost blended with the rock and could have been easily mistaken for pre-historic rock art as per the experts.

The experts were able to find imprints of the fossil, which are usually preserved as negative impressions on the bases of sandstone beds. Reportedly, the first specimen of the said fossil was discovered in South Australia. Although the Bhimbetka rock shelters were founded around 64 years ago, the Dickinsonia fossil managed to remain undetected.

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