'Important milestone': New species of Jurassic-age Hybodont Shark discovered from Indian state Rajasthan

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 15, 2021, 08:41 PM(IST)

Hybodont shark teeth (Strophodusjaisalmerensis), from Jaisalmer Formation, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. (Credit: @PIBJaipur) Photograph:( Twitter )

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Hybodont sharks have been reported for the first time from the Jurassic rocks (approximately, between 160 and 168 million-years-old) of the Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan. 

Teeth of new species of Hybodont Shark of Jurassic age have been reported for the first time from Jaisalmer, a city in the western state of India, Rajasthan, by a team from the Geological Survey of India (GSI). 

As per a statement released on Wednesday (September 15) by the mines ministry of India, the "rare" and newly discovered crushing teeth represents a new species named by the research team as Strophodusjaisalmerensis.

The finding has been published in Historical Biology, a Journal of Palaeontology of International repute, in its August, 2021, 4th issue. Prof. Dr Sunil Bajpai, Head of the Department, Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, who is a co-author of this publication, played a significant role in this important discovery. 

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According to Shri Krishna Kumar, who is a senior geologist (palaeontology division), Hybodont Sharks have been reported for the first time from the Jurassic rocks (approximately, between 160 and 168 million-years-old) of the Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan. 

The genus Strophodus has been identified for the first time from the Indian subcontinent and is only the third such record from Asia, the other two being from Japan and Thailand. 

The statement further stated that this discovery will mark an "important milestone" in the study of Jurassic vertebrate fossils in the Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan in India. It also opens a new window for further research in the domain of vertebrate fossils. 

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What's Hybodont Shark?

The research elaborated that Hybodonts, an extinct group of sharks, was a dominant group of fish in both marine and fluvial environments during the Triassic and early Jurassic times.

However, Hybodont Sharks started to decline in marine environments from the Middle Jurassic onwards until they formed a relatively minor component of open-marine shark assemblages. Hybodonts finally became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous time 65 million years ago. 

The new species has recently been included in the Shark references.Com, an international platform operating in association with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission, and Germany.

(With inputs from agencies)

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