- A new discovery has been published in a journal, Gondwana Research as researchers have discovered three fossils of the earliest known living animal — the 550-million-year-old ‘Dickinsonia’ — on the roof of the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, about 40 km from Bhopal.
- Fossils have been from the white leaf-like patches with a central vertebra (central midrib) and connecting veins.
- One fossil is 17 inches long, the other two are much smaller.
- The new discoveries can be seen right at the beginning of the ‘Auditorium Cave’, the first of such caves at Bhimbetka, located about 3.5 metres above the ground.
- They were the only such fossils available in the country, and were similar to those seen in south Australia.
- This is further proof of the similar paleoenvironments and confirms assembly of Gondwanaland by the 550 Ma (mega annum), but not reconstructions adjusted for true polar wander.
BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS:
- Archaeological site in central India that spans the prehistoric ages Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period.
- Exhibits the earliest traces of human life in India and evidence of Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian times.
- Location: Raisen District (Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh)
- UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of seven hills and over 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 km (6.2 mi).
- At least some of the shelters were inhabited more than 100,000 years ago. The rock shelters and caves provide evidence of a “rare glimpse” into human settlement and cultural evolution from hunter-gatherers, to agriculture, and expressions of prehistoric spirituality.
- Themes such as animals, early evidence of dance and hunting.
- Has the oldest-known rock art in India, as well as is one of the largest prehistoric complexes.