There’s more hidden under the earth in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana than precious minerals, or politics for that matter. The states hold the key to knowledge of evolutionary history from the Precambrian period (the period which extends from the formation of Earth up to 540 million years ago) till the Ice Age.
And one particular mystery that has caught the imagination of scientists at the paleontology division of Geological Survey of India, Southern Region, is the transition from the cretaceous period to tertiary period. Cretaceous is the period when the last of the dinosaurs died and tertiary is the age when mammals first appeared.
This period will be researched across 300 sq. km in the two Telugu states, at Vikarabad in Telangana and Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh as part of a latest project by the GSI paleontologists.
In a recently undertaken project by GSI paleontologists in Adilabad, more than 100 fossil samples were found and while a majority of these samples were of Sauropods, interestingly even ancient fish species were recovered.
Khammam, Warangal, Karimnagar and Adilabad are reported to contain fossils of many vertebrates and invertebrates of Gondwana, the super continent that existed about 510 million years ago.
Fossils of a variety of fauna have been recovered from Telangana, which include that of ancient sharks, crocodiles, flying reptiles, many small mammals and plants. Fossilised skeletons of Kotasaurus Yamanpalliensis and Rhyncosaurus were excavated a few years ago from Telangana.