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An egg clutch sketch in the DinosauriumDinosaurs
- the terrible lizards who had the earth under their sway for a long period. Originating about 200 million years ago from a reptile called Thecodont, this group multiplied with abundant diversification, invading in the process all broad ecological niches available on land and in inland waters, feeding ferociously both on plants and flesh.

Steven Spielberg recreated these animals with Eggs of a dinosaurcomputer graphics in Jurassic Park and The Lost World. And if you missed those movies, no worry. BM Birla Science Centre in connoisance with Geological Survey of India has reproduced those fearsome species in skeleton form by joining various bones of dinosaurs excavated from Yamanpalli village of Adilabad district. The fantastic skeleton of dinosaur, which is painstakingly put up by the Geological Survey of India and supported by smaller exhibits all around, has been housed in 'Dinosaurium', specially created for dinosaurs in the BM Birla Science Centre.

Femur of a sauropod dinosaur Describing the Dinosaurium to, Dr B.G. Sidharth, Director-General, BM Birla Science Centre says, "The 'Dinosaurium' is truly a breathtaking facility which displays a rare and magnificent fossilised skeleton of the dinosaur, 'Kotasaurus Yamanpalliensis', belonging to the Lower Jurassic Age of about 160 million years ago. It is one of the finest specimens in the world." The dinosaurium was inaugurated on 25th July 2000.

A dinosaurThe specimen of the dinosaur has been put up in a natural and dynamic posture and measures about 14.5 metres in length and over 4 metres in height. The excavation of this dinosaur was a long and arduous process and the credit for the unearthing of the skeleton should go to the GSI team in general and DR P. Yadagiri in particular. The Geologists have taken about 6 years to excavate the fossil remains of the dinosaurs. Says Siddharth, "Search for vertebrate remains near Yamanpalli area (300 km from Hyderabad) led to discovery of few fossilised dinosaur bones which were embedded in the rocks. About 840 skeletal parts of the dinosaurs were collected between 1974 and 1980 by paleontologists of Geological survey of India."

A close examination of the excavated fossils by the geologists, has revealed that the collection consisted of bones from 12 different dinosaurs. The skeletal parts collected from the field were processed and joined together to form a composite skeleton. Further study by the Geologists revealed that the dinosaur belonged to a new genus and new species and was named as 'Kotasaurus Yamanapalliensis' after the site where it was discovered.

Skeleton of a dinosaur The dinosaur put up in the Dinosaurium belongs to the Sauropod category, i.e., the vegetarian variety. And they are the earliest known species of dinosaurs. Apart from this unique fossil of the majestic animal, the Dinosaurium has equally important fossil specimens going back to the same areas, like dinosaur eggs, part of a fossilised tree trunk and a giant ammonite. The Dinosaurium throws light on the evolution of dinosaurs and educates people about the extinct species.

Address: BM Birla Science Centre, Adarsh Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 063. Phone: 323 5081, 324 1067. Fax: 323 7266.


-MAR Fareed

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