Ranchi, Sept 29 : A team of Geologists have found 150 - 200 million years old fossilised leaves in Sahibganj district of Jharkhand. Researchers from Sahibganj PG College in association with National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow are carrying out the excavation in the region under a project of the Department of Science and Technology of the Union Government.
A couple of 20 cm by 5 cm fossilised leaves of genus Ptilophyllum have been found in Dudhkol mountain of Taljhari area while further excavation is underway, said the lead Geologist Assistant Professor Ranjit Kumar Singh of Sahibganj PG College. According to the professor, such leaves are believed to be consumed by herbivorous dinosaurs. The genus Ptilophyllum is the major group of Pteridophytes, in simpler terms fern and fern allies, and belong to the family of Hymenophyllaceae.
The region has a history of several successful excavations before when smaller fossils from Upper Jurassic to Cretaceous period have been excavated. There are strong chances of finding fossilised dinosaur eggs in the region as well. However, even after working for more than 12 years with a wise team, Singh has not been fortunate to come across such prominent fossils, yet the excavations continue. Several fossils have been found earlier in Maharajpur, Tarpahad, Garmi Pahad and Barharwa areas in Sahibganj and Sonajhari in the neighbouring Pakur district.