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First Jurassic Era Marine Reptile Unearthed in India

27-10-2017 10:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

First Jurassic Era Marine Reptile Unearthed in India | My Indian Dream

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Palaeontologists are unravelling ancient mysteries

The fossilized skeleton of a Jurassic era ichthyosaur which is a type of ‘fish lizard’ was discovered for the first time from Kutch district of Gujarat. The fossil was initially discovered in January 2016 and thought to be that of a dinosaur. However, after studying it for more than a year, it was concluded that the fossil was of ichthyosaur from the Jurassic era.

The 5.5-metre-long near-complete skeleton was found by a team of Indo-German geologists near the Kaas hills on the outskirts of Bhuj town. It is thought to belong to the Ophthalmosauridae family, which likely lived between 165 million years and 90 million years ago.

The study which was published in the October 25 edition of PLOS ONE journal states,"The present ichthyosaur find represents the first nearly complete articulated skeleton of an ichthyosaur from India and the first record from the Jurassic of India. It further expands our knowledge on morphologicl diversity and geographic distribution of Late Jurassic ophthalmosaurids, their dietary habits and palaeobiogeography."

The authors believe that it is a big find. They hope that focused research in remote areas of the Kutch district may lead to more finds in the future.

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