In a remarkable discovery, the remains of a magnificent aquatic species from prehistoric times have been discovered in the desert state of Rajasthan. As per reports, a team from the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Western Region, Jaipur has found the teeth of a new species of hybodont shark of the Jurassic era in Jaisalmer. This detection has found a place in Historical Biology, a Journal of Palaeontology, in its August, 2021, 4th issue.
Teeth of species that became extinct 65 million years ago!
The aforesaid publication was co-penned by the Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at IIT Roorkee, Prof Sunil Bajpai. Notably, he played a key role in spotting and recording the various facets of this discovery. Besides, the group of geologists and other experts consisted of Krishna Kumar, Pragya Pandey, Triparna Ghosh and Debasish Bhattacharya.
According to Krishna Kumar, senior geologist, palaeontology division, Western Region, "Hybodont sharks have been reported for the first time from the Jurassic rocks (approximately, between 160 and 168 million years old) in the Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan. They comprise an extinct group of sharks, which was a dominant group of fishes in both marine and fluvial environments during the Triassic and early Jurassic times."
The official further stated that the decline of hybodont sharks in marine ecosystems started in the Middle Jurassic age. Driven by the falling numbers, they gradually occupied a small proportion of open-marine shark assemblages. Later, they finally became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago.
A milestone for research in the field of vertebrate fossils
After the maiden discovery, the research team has named the new species 'Strophodusjaisalmerensis'. Interestingly, this is the first time that an organism from the class of genus Strophodus has been found in the Indian sub-continent. Additionally, this is the third discovery of its kind in Asia while the previous two were recorded in Japan and Thailand.
Recently, this species has been mentioned in Shark references.com, an international platform operating in association with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission (SSC), and Germany. Being a notable accomplishment in the study of Jurassic vertebrate fossils in the Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan, the latest finding will fuel more research and exploration in this field.
- With inputs from IANS