The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) is a subspecies of the lion which survives today only in India where it is also known as the Indian lion. They once ranged from the Mediterranean to India, covering most of Southwest Asia, and hence it is also known as the Persian lion.
Ahmedabad: A dinosaur fossil park will soon come up at Kheda district`s Rayoli village which was once hom
e to a large population of the species. Some 1,000 fossilised eggs of the extinct species have been found at the site, at Rayoli village in Balasinor, some 85 km from here, which is now being developed as a `dinosaur tourism` destination. The site is governed by the Gujarat Ecological and Research Foundation. "Balasinor dinosaur fossil park is a unique site, just like flamingo city of Kutch or Asiatic lion sanctuary at Sasan Gir. We are working hard to develop these places and turn them into international attractions," Tourism Minister Jaynarayan Vyas said.
The dinosaur fossils were first discovered at Rayoli in 1981 by the Geological Survey of India. A year later, approximately 1,000 dinosaur eggs were discovered, making this place famous among the palaeontologists.
Scientists say that at least seven species of dinosaur once roamed here; the fossils are estimated to be around 65 million years old.
Vyas said it was widely believed that this place was a part of the `Shiva crater` that was formed millions of years ago by a meteor crash. The meteor crash, and the later volcano eruptions devastated this area, scientists believe.
The state government has provided a grant of Rs six crore for the development of fossil park; the work is currently on.
Gujarat government invited a group of 50 palaeontologists to explore the site in 1997. Since then, a large number of palaeontologists have visited the area.