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A Tour of the Section

A large diorama entitled "Dinosaur Park" gives a glimpse of life in the Cretaceous period. Two well known dinosaur taxa from the USA are shown. These include the meat-eating carnivorous dinosaur Allosaurus and the gentle plant-eating dinosaur Parasauralophus, mother with hatchling in a contemporary environment with Gingko trees, cycads, ferns and horse-tails around a small pool. Also included is Archaeopteryx which is considered to be the most primitive bird known so far as well as other denizens of a forest such as snakes and turtles. A nest with hatched eggs is also shown. The background emphasizes the fact that the Cretaceous was a period of intense volcanic activity.

Diorama - Dinosaur Park
Click to enlarge

One of the most remarkable features of Indian dinosaurs is the presence of eggs and nests which have been recovered during the past 25 years from several localities in central India. These are also graphically displayed in panels which also depict other aspects of Indian dinosaur communities such as parental care. Another panel illustrates the cross section of a dinosaur egg with a growing embryo. Three dimensional models show the way in which the Indian dinosaur eggs are found in nests. These are of two basic types: the large spherical eggs assigned to the genus Megaloolithus belonging to the large dinosaur Titanosaurus and the more oval-shaped eggs which are believed to belong to the meat-eating abelisaurid dinosaurs which include Indosuchus , Indosaurus and Rajasaurus.

Actual eggs of plant and meat-eating dinosaurs are also displayed.

Other displays include on how dinosaur eggshells appear in rocks in the field and how and why scientists study them and the kind of data concerning the reproductive habits of dinosaurs that can be obtained from the study of eggs and nests.

An often asked question is how do we know that the eggs on display really belong to dinosaurs? Such questions and other similar questions have been answered by showing the similarity between the structure of a dinosaurian eggshell in comparison to the structure of other reptilian and avian (bird) eggs. Several specimens of dinosaur, crocodile and turtle eggshells are also on display. These include slides made by cutting thin rock slices containing pieces of the fossilized eggs.

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