Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Fossil Park Proposed In Asifabad After Archeological Discovery In Telangana

A team of researchers recently found prehistoric tools in a limestone cave, along fossils that are around 6.5 crore years old in the district in Telangana.

A recent research project undertaken in Telangana’s Komaram Bheem Asifabad district revealed a new fossil site, adding to the collection of the already fossil-rich state. Researchers found gastropod fossils which, they say, lived around 6.5 crore years ago in the Ginnedhari forest range of Asifabad district. This discovery has led archaeologists and historians to demand a fossil park in the district. 

The team was led by Dr MA Srinivasan, General Secretary of Public Research Institute for History, Archaeology & Heritage (PRIHA). Forest Range Officer Thodishetty Pranay, who is also a member of PRIHA, conducted field surveys in the area to recognise and collect the fossils.
Speaking to #KhabarLive, Dr MA Srinivas said, “Mancherial and Asifabad are two districts in Telangana that are rich in fossils. In the south, Tamil Nadu has fossil parks but Andhra Pradesh and Telangana do not have a fossil park. There were plans to set up a fossil park in this area but it did not materialise. The government must consider the idea and take it up.” 

A fossil park is a site that is rich in plant, animal and even human fossils. Fossils can reveal very interesting details about lifeforms that existed on earth several millions of years ago, and help scientists study the process of evolution. Once fossils are found, geological research helps decide the age by studying the sedimentation process.

“For around a month, the members of the team have been surveying the area hoping to find fossils. The snail-like species has been identified as the Physa Tirpolensis by eminent paleontologist and retired Deputy Director General of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Chakilam Venugopal Rao.” Interestingly, similar gastropod fossils were discovered three decades ago by a GSI official in Terpole village of Telangana’s Sangareddy district, from which Physa Tirpolensis— belonging to genus Physa— got its name.

Recently, the team also discovered a limestone cave in Asifabad with prehistoric tools including a hand-axe and a cleaver. 

“After the finding of a prehistoric limestone cave in the same region and now the fossils, the potential and importance for research in Asifabad is once again reiterated,” said Dr Srinivasan. #KhabarLive 

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