Scientists Baffled Over Half-Preserved Dinosaur-Like Corpse Found In India
An interesting discovery has been made in an abandoned subway station in Uttarakhand, India, which may well change what we know about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.
According to reports, an electrician was cleaning the station, which had remained empty for over thirty years, when he came across a partially preserved skeleton which strongly resembles a raptor-like dinosaur. While the creature's passing clearly wasn't recent, its corpse still held some flesh, which by all rights should be impossible considering the length of time since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
The corpse has now been sent for testing and carbon dating, although it's already very clear that this creature couldn't possibly actually date back to the Late Cretaceous period during which raptors existed and thrived.
In spite of the fact that the animal does look an awful lot like a small dinosaur, experts are urging people not to get too excited. According to Aaryan Kumar, a PhD student in Paleontology from Delhi University:
There are a few possible reasons for the creature's uncanny dinosaur appearance. The easiest answer to reach for is that this is a fake, planted by some enterprising prankster in the hopes of garnering some attention from the scientific community.
This, though, is unlikely - the fact that experts are giving this the dignity of being carbon dated suggests that, having examined the specimen closely, they feel that it warrants further investigation.
Besides, some dinosaurs that have turned up in the past have looked so weird that experts thought they were fake, so it's best not to rule anything out.
Far more likely is the possibility that this is some form of modern-day ancestor of the dinosaurs, which died relatively recently, and which may have been prepared for display in a museum before being accidentally left within the station before it was abandoned.
The dinosaurs never actually went completely extinct - many species found a way to survive the global climate change that occurred sixty five million years ago, and ultimately evolved into creatures that we're very familiar with: birds.
It makes sense that this specimen is some form of bird, as it's already well understood that many birds have skeletons that look an awful lot like dinosaur fossils. Whether this is a bird that's been commonly documented, or a new species that's never been seen before, is more difficult to say for certain - if this is a new discovery, it explains that it was preserved, and the slow rotting process that the specimen has undergone has ended up making it look a lot more like a dinosaur than it would do under normal conditions.
Nevertheless, while this definitely isn't an ancient beast, the corpse does hold some interesting questions that could help our understanding of the process of evolution that dinosaurs have gone through as they've become birds. If this is some form of evolutionary missing link, it could make waves among both dinosaur enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike.
Only time will tell what this creature really was when it was alive, but the answers to the questions surrounding its life, death, and discovery, ought to prove fascinating for those who wish they could have their own pet velociraptors.