Fossils, mineral rocks attract huge crowds at expo (With Images)January 5th, 2012 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Jan 5 (IANS) A meteorite, the cast of a six-inch-long dinosaur claw and a huge amethyst are among a few hundred rare items that are wowing crowds at an expo on rocks, minerals and fossils here, with nearly 5,000 people turning up on the opening day itself.
Students, commoners and foreign tourists were among those who visited the Convocation Hall of the University of Mumbai Wednesday, said organiser Mugdha D. Karnik, director, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies.
“In barely a few minutes, these few hundred exhibits can transport you back in time to over 400 million years, viewing and understanding the rich legacy for mankind and mysteries of the universe,” Karnik told IANS Thursday.
The fossilised claw cast of a T-rex (Tryannosaurus), sourced from the US, is unique as other dinosaur fossils, extinct mega shark teeth from the Triassic, Jurassic and Creataceous (250 to 65 million years ago) eras and Quarternary fossils from peninsular India and the Sivalik foothills are some of the rare fossils on display.
“The Quarternary fossils include the remains of a hippopotamus, rhinoceros, extinct early elephants, fossilised ostrich eggs, extinct horses and the ancestors of present day cattle,” said Vijay Sathe of Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute.
In order to give people an idea of how fossils, rocks and other important articles are discovered by scientists, a special section displays equipment that are used in excavation like shovels, adhesives, brushes and also GPS equipment, Sathe told IANS.
“Besides, we have a unique collection like fossils of elephants, rhinos, hippopotamus and others. We want the masses to see these precious treasures of mankind,” he added.
A crowd-puller is a meteorite found in 1948 from Shikot Alin, Siberia in Russia. “It is small but heavy. Looks around 1 kg, but it is actually six times more,” explained Bharat Adur, noted astronomer and founder of Akash Ganga: Centre for Astronomy, Thane district.
The minerals on display include several breathtaking crystalline geodes of amethyst, citrine, cavansite, vanadinite, fluorite, beautiful polished balls of agate, carnelian, onyx, jasper and fossilised wood, examples of various metals in both in their rare natural state (native copper), smelted examples of pure metal (tin, copper, lead) and various groups of fossils.
Sathe said the plant fossils displayed a date from the Carboniferous (over 315 million years ago) to the more recent Miocene (10 million years ago) eras. These include examples of petrified wood, palm trunk, leaf impressions and fossilised gymnosperm seed besides fossilised rein amber, he said.
The four-day event that ends Saturday is coordinated by the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies of University of Mumbai in collaboration with The India Study Centre and Institute of Science (both Mumbai), The Deccan College Post Graduate & Research Institute and a private collector, M. Makki (both Pune).
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- Dinos were alive for '700,000 yrs after the mass extinction' - Jan 28, 2011
- Dinosaurs survived mass extinction by 700,000 years - Jan 28, 2011
- Dinosaur-bird 'missing link' could be egg - Jul 13, 2012
- East China dino museum is world's largest - Oct 15, 2010
- Mammoth tree fossil to grace Himachal's second geo park - Mar 29, 2010
- Rare 1,100-year-old murals on display in China - Jun 21, 2011
- Fossils of bird-like dinosaurs discovered in Australia - May 18, 2012
- Dinosaur museum in China sets new world record - Aug 03, 2010
- Newly discovered fossils reveal how dinosaur feathers changed with age - Apr 29, 2010
- Tiny fossil part reveals biggest-ever toothed pterosaur - Oct 16, 2011
- Double meteorite strike 'led to dinosaur extinction' - Aug 28, 2010
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