Why in News?

  • Fossils of an extinct species, Dickinsonia, that scientists reported in a discovery from India’s Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in 2021 have recently been found to be a false alarm.


  • Dickinsonia is an extinct primitive animal that inhabited seabeds around Australia, China, Russia, Ukraine, in the Ediacaran period, 600-500 million years ago. It was classified as an animal after discovery of cholesterol molecules in the fossils.
  • It Is believed to be one of the earliest animals to have existed on earth.
  • It is believed to be one of the earliest animals to have existed on earth.
  • The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site in central India that spans the prehistoric Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period.
  • It exhibits the earliest traces of human life in India and evidence of Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian times.
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of seven hills and over 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 km.
  • Some of the Bhimbetka rock shelters feature prehistoric cave paintings and the earliest are about 10,000 years old (c. 8,000 BCE), corresponding to the Indian Mesolithic.
  • Most of these are done in red and white on the cave walls.
  • A multitude of themes were covered in this form of rock art and it depicted scenes like singing, dancing, hunting and other common activities of the people staying there.
  • The oldest of the cave paintings in Bhimbetka is believed to be about 12,000 years ago.
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