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Rituparna Bose, an India-born scientist identified 400 million year old fossils

Feb 24, 2014 14:33 IST

Rituparna Bose, an adjunct assistant professor at the City University of New York, who is an India-born scientist in New York, identified fossils that may be as old as 400 million years. She identified the fossils in February 2014 through a new technique named Geometric Morphometrics that is developed by her and used in the process of identification of the fossils. This technique can also be used to help in identification of the extinct species.

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It might be possible that this technique would help the scientists and researchers to understand the natural and human reasons which were responsible for the collapse of ecosystem that has raised crises in the biodiversity sphere. Geometric Morphometrics is a relatively new method that is used in measuring the shape of organisms for studying the differences between species and understanding how they changed with time. Bose’s study was centered on the fossils which were discovered in Michigan and Ohio.

Earlier, scientists and researchers were unable to measure the delicate differences between the species (where no genetic or behavioral data is available) as they have been classifying the animal and plant species based on visual assessment of external shapes and sizes. The mathematical method was used for studying the diversity of and evolution of species because the researchers were unable to isolate the DNA from the prehistoric fossils as till now, the difference between two species were identified by sequencing their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
 
The work of Rituparna Bose was presented at the North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC). The proceedings were published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, India and in PalAontologische Zeitschrift, which is one of the oldest journals on fossil science. This finding by Bose came at a time when the United Nations has declared 2011-20 as the UN Decade of Biodiversity.

About Rituparna Bose
• Rituparna Bose aged 33 was born in Rourkela Odisha
• She is the first Indian to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of the Geological Society
• She has been a fellow of the society of Biology and the Royal Society if Entomology
• Cornell University's Bulletins of American Paleontology has invited her to serve on the editorial board. This is the oldest paleontology journal in the Western hemisphere

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Earlier, the researchers in January 2014 discovered a 100-million-year old piece of amber. The discovered amber piece revealed the oldest evidence of sexual reproduction in flowering plant. A cluster of 18 tiny flowers were discovered from the Cretaceous Period.

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