Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel To Inaugurate Phase-2 Of India's First Dinosaur Museum

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will on Sunday inaugurate the Phase-2 of Dinosaur Museum at the Balasinor Dinosaur Park in Gujarat’s Raiyoli, which is the only dinosaur fossil site in India with its own museum.

The museum, whose phase-1 was inaugurated in 2019, features 5-D theater, digital forest, 360-degree virtual reality, experiment laboratory, semi-circulation project, 3D projection mapping and hologram, etc, according to Ahmedabad Mirror. It has been built at a cost of Rs 16.5 crore.

Paleontologists discovered fossil remains and bones in the village of Rayioli in the 1980s. Research since then has revealed that 13 species of dinosaurs lived in the area around 65 million years ago. The fossil park contains life sized statues of those dinosaurs.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) chanced upon fossils at Raiyoli, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

It adds, “The geologists had been blasting in a cement quarry when they found some unusual stones the size of large grapefruits. Around the same time, they also discovered fossils at nearby sites. Lab work later determined that the finds were dinosaur eggs and bones . ”

Researchers also found that a member of the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex —or T-Rex— family was also a native of Balasinor millions of years ago. The squat, thick-legged, and heavy-bodied carnivorous dinosaur was named “Rajasaurus Narmandensis” – King of Narmada, according to Gujarat Tourism’s website.

It adds that the first half of the name comes from Raja —King— due to the dinosaur’s crested horn and the second half of the name originates due to its geographical location which was near the river Narmada.

The dinosaur’s remains were pieced together by Jeffrey Wilson, a professor and associate curator of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of Michigan, and Paul Sereno, a professor of paleontology at the University of Chicago, who worked with bones collected over many years by a team of GSI researchers who mapped the site in detail, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

The magazine added that the exercise was the first reconstruction of a dinosaur skull ever assembled from remains collected in India.

Moreover, Raiyoli is known to be the third largest dinosaur fossil site in the world and the second largest dinosaur hatchery where about 10,000 dinosaur eggs have been found.

Besides serving as a place for infotainment, the place is also intended to attract experts from archeology and other fields who’d be interesting in working on the emergence and extinction of dinosaurs, according to a report in The Times of India.

The park is open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm. It’s closed on every Monday.

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By ll07v

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