IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


17th June, 2023 History

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  • At Madhya Pradesh’s Bhimbetka Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fossils of Indian Dickinsonia were found earlier in 2021 from Maihar Sandstone of Vindhyan basin.
  • Now these fossil remains are disproved by Indian scientists and not found to be true fossils.
  • These are left-over impression of a fallen beehive not the fossils of Indian Dickinsonia.

Other Details

  • In 2021 this discovery of Indian DIckinsonia fossil was made by researchers and members of University of Oregon’s Gregory J Retallack, and Geological Survey of India. These findings were published in Gondwana Research journal.
  • Indian Dickinsonia is considered a 550-million-year-old earliest known living animal. Hence believed to be a primitive animal that once inhabited seabeds.
  • The fossils which belong to Precambrian Era (4000-538 million years), are scrutinized by scientists for their authenticity as they help us to understand the beginning and growth of life on the planet.
  • Hence Scientists from Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, inspired by Vindhyan supergroup, tried to follow-up and scrutinize fossil Dickinsonia tenuis.
  • They undertook a field study to examine the fossils.
  • In the closer examination of the fossil, for establishing biogenicity, they found it to be the impression of a fallen beehive as it had traces of honey and wax, confirmed by laser Raman Spectroscopy and X-Ray Diffraction.
  • Presence of honeycomb structure was also there.

Vindhyan Supergroup

  • It is the largest and thickest sedimentary basins (covering an area of 1,62,000 sq.km) of the world.
  • It is named after the Vindhyan mountain of India, which has witnessed discoveries of various fossils.
  • These fossils help us to understand the origin and evolution of life on earth.
  • It has a long and elaborated sequence of sandstones, shales, limestone and other shallow marine deposits which is 5 kilometre thick.
  • Owing to the presence of thick Vindhyan rocks, it archives the history, more than 1 billion years old, of the earth.
  • American scientists, biologists and palaeontologists, associated with Vindhyan Supergroup, found similarity of fossils of Indian Dickinsonia with Ediacaran fossils.
  • This super group is divided into 4 subgroups which are
    • Kaimur Group
    • Semri Group
    • Rewa Group and
    • Bhander Group

Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences

  • It is an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology.
  • It is located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and was established in 1946.
  • Objectives
    • To explore and develop palaeobotany as a science.
    • To understand and solve issues of origin and evolution of plant life.
    • Application of palaeosciences to oil and coal industry in exploration of fossil fuels.

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Discuss the significance and contribution of Bhimbetka caves in understanding the evolution of human life and culture. Also explain the role played by Vindhyan supergroup to know about the history of earth. (250 words)