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Oldest East Gondwanan pycnodont fishes (Neopterygii, Pycnodontiformes) from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Jaisalmer, western India

Abstract

Globally, the Middle Jurassic records of pycnodonts are extremely scarce. Here we report the discovery of pycnodont remains (prearticular dental plate, isolated teeth) from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian, ~ 162 Ma) Fort Member of Jaisalmer Formation, Rajasthan state, western India. The specimens from Jaisalmer, assigned to cf. Eomesodon sp., represent the earliest record of East Gondwanan pycnodonts, and suggest a relatively rapid dispersal and a much wider Middle Jurassic distribution after their first appearance in the Late Triassic of the Western Tethys. The new Indian find predates the next younger (Late Cretaceous) record of pycnodont fishes in India by about a hundred million years, and necessitates a re-evaluation of the current ideas favoring a restricted occurrence of these remarkable fishes during the Late Triassic–Middle Jurassic.

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Fig. 1

Source of (a): Geological Survey of India, Western Region, Jaipur

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Acknowledgements

Authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Krishna Kumar, Triparna Ghosh, Pragya Pandey and Debasish Bhattacharya thank the Director General, Geological Survey of India and Additional Director General & HOD, Geological Survey of India, Western Region, Jaipur for granting permission to publish this paper and  Additional Director General & NMH-IV, Geological Survey of India, CHQ, Kolkata and Deputy Director General & RMH-IV, Geological Survey of India, Western Region, Jaipur for providing departmental facilities and support for this study. Sunil Bajpai thanks Prof. Jürgen Kriwet (Germany) for discussion and providing photos of some of the type material of pycnodonts for purposes of comparison. Support provided to Sunil Bajpai by IIT Roorkee as part of the Institute Chair Professorship is also acknowledged. The specimens described in this paper are part of the ongoing doctoral work of Triparna Ghosh at IIT Roorkee.

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Kumar, K., Bajpai, S., Ghosh, T. et al. Oldest East Gondwanan pycnodont fishes (Neopterygii, Pycnodontiformes) from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Jaisalmer, western India. PalZ (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-022-00619-5

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Keywords

  • Pycnodontiformes
  • Jurassic
  • Gondwana
  • India