Perfectly preserved and intact skeletal remains of about 25 birds have been found in a more than 177-year-old wall of La Martiniere for Boys.
The skeletons were discovered during repairs in the accounts office, which is part of the main building.
“The building is 177 years old and we presume construction began several years before that. The bird skeletons in the 30-inch wall are intact, not crushed,” said Supriyo Dhar, the secretary of the La Martiniere schools.
Scientists said discovery of bird skeletons from the masonry of old buildings was not unusual.
“Construction of such buildings would take several years and often birds made nests in crevices in incomplete walls. When work resumed in that section, the birds got trapped in a concrete grave,” a scientist said.
“Such incidents rarely get reported because workers just throw away the skeletons during renovation,” he added.
The school had informed the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) about the findings and a scientist visited soon after.
“I have taken the skeletons for proper identification of the species. We will send a report to the school in a couple of days,” said scientist Gopinathan Maheswaran of the ZSI.
He said: “There are 1,200 bird species in India. The Calcutta office of the ZSI has more than 30,000 specimens. We will compare the skeletons with the specimens we have.”