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Short story: The adventurous dino expedition



By Kalp Nanavaty

Since childhood, I have been fascinated about Dinosaurs and this led me to become a palaeontologist. After completing my studies at Pennsylvania State University, USA a decade ago, I returned to Gujarat with the determination to find dinosaur fossils. During my college days, I read an article that suggested these rare dinosaur fossils are likely to be found in Gujarat Narmada region.

I gathered a team of palaeontologists during my visit to lead an expedition in the area. For a year, the team visited multiple sites where fossils could likely be found but all in vain. One day, it was nearly dark and as the last sun rays were about to vanish into the darkness, the team returned to the campsite after a long expedition.

I was the last in the line since I was left behind to tie my shoe laces. I wandered off the track, trying to move fast towards the fading voices of my team. And so, I fell into a ditch. As the dust settled, I switched on the torch and to my surprise I found a broken piece that looked like a dinosaur fossil. I rushed back to the campsite where after our preliminary study, it was proven that it was indeed a dinosaur fossil.    

It was a long night, and my team and I could not wait to explore the area and look for more fossils that could be found in the region. At the first ray of sunlight, all of us were ready to start working. As we started to look around the same ditch, we found fossils of both herbivorous and carnivorous species. Days turned to weeks and months as we kept digging the fossil pieces, but could not find a fully preserved and intact fossil.

We, however, made some amazing discoveries but after six months of constant work in the area, I decided it was time to explore another area of Gujarat. My team agreed too, and so we decided to move our camp to the coming Saturday.

As we woke up on Friday morning, while having breakfast one of the team members came running towards me, bouncing with joy. Just a few feet away from our camp, there was a big bushy area in which he found something unexplored and interesting. He guessed it was a nesting ground.

We then split up in two units, one went to the site where we were working and the other, which included me, explored the new area. As we started looking, we found a completely preserved egg. I called all my team members to the new site and by day’s end, we found more than 30 whole eggs and numerous broken egg shell pieces.

We decided to stay for a few days there and then came the weekend. The new site led us to two major discoveries in Palaeontology. Two completely new species that existed on the Indian subcontinent and found nowhere else, were discovered. The dinosaurs were named Rajasaurus Narmadensis as one was a crested horn based T-rex family species and the other Rahiolisaurus Gujaratensis.

My childhood dream of making a new discovery finally came true that day!