Ostrich – the largest and heaviest flightless bird, inhabitant to Africa, was used to live in India some 25,000 years ago, suggested the DNA reports of old egg shells.
The ostrich is one of the largest flightless birds in the world. It is the only living species of the genus Struthio, which is in the ratite group. Basically, this heaviest flightless bird is believed to be the resident of Africa. The presence of this clumsy-looking bird in India was somehow impractical for researchers. But after analysing the ancient eggshells of the bird, found in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, a team of international researchers has confirmed the bird to be native to India some 25000 years ago.
The new study, conducted by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has revealed that the biggest flightless birds were once a native to India. Though the primary residence of the bird is Africa,, since long, a number of geologists and archaeologists have claimed them to be present in India too. After the findings of ostrich egg shell pieces in India, in the most regions of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the claim somehow was corroborated. But a recently conducted DNA study, based on some partially fossilised ostrich egg shells has confirmed that the flightless bird species was used to live in India some 25000 years ago.
According to the latest study, conducted at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), the signs of their continuation in India can be majorly discovered in several regions of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. From various parts of these two states, researchers unearthed pieces of egg shells, which are genetically similar to the ostrich, living in Africa.
According to Kumarasamy Thangaraj, the senior principal scientist of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, “The carbon dating of the ostrich egg shells, unearthed from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh reveals that they are at least 25,000 years old. It means, about 25000 years ago, India was accommodating the ostriches, which earlier believed to be exclusive to Africa only, just about 25000 years.”
“We have thoroughly analysed the pieces of ostrich egg shells, detained from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in our antique DNA’ facility and found that the egg shells found in India are genetically akin to the DNA of African ostrich,” added Thangaraj in his statement.
The study was mutually conducted by the researchers of CCMB, Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee) and some other leading institutes and was published in the March 9, 2017, edition of Science journal PLOS ONE. However, despite the DNA confirmations, the ambiguous theory regarding the existence of ostriches in India was not scientifically confirmed, and more researches are needed to verify this view scientifically, said an official of CCMB.