VADODARA: A team of archaeologists stumbled upon an ostrich nest that dates back 41,000 years – the oldest found in the world – in Andhra Pradesh.
Archaeologists from the Vadodara-based MS University, and colleagues from Germany, Australia, and US found this archaeological evidence while investigating a fossil-rich site in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh.The nest was the home of 9-11 ostrich eggs, the researchers said.
Typically, an ostrich nest is 9-10 feet wide and can accommodate 30-40 eggs at a time. Researchers say this finding is crucial in finding out why megafauna (animals weighing more than 40kg) went extinct in India. The discovery of nearly 3,500 pieces of ostrich eggshells from a patch of 1×1.5 metres is not only the first evidence of the presence of ostrich in south India, it is also the first time that archaeological evidence of a 41,000-yea-old ostrich nest has been established.
Megafauna, literally large animals, refers to animals like horses, elephants, cattle, and hippopotamus. Some of these megafauna became extinct around 40,000 years ago from different parts of the world. “The oldest ostrich eggshell were discovered from the Siwalik Hills on the Indian side of the Himalayas. They date back more than 20 lakh years. Even in peninsular India, the oldest evidence of ostrich eggshells was discovered from Katoti in Rajasthan, which date back to 60,000 years,” said Devara Anilkumar, assistant professor at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at MSU. He has been working on the project since April 2023.