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47mn-year-old fossils hint Rajasthan's deserts had a marine life

13 Jul 2018 | By Garima Bora
Rajasthan's deserts had a sea million years ago

In the deserts of Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district, paleontologists have stumbled upon nearly 47 million-year-old fossils of primitive whale, shark teeth, crocodilian teeth and turtle bones, which according to experts suggest that the area was under sea in the pre-historic age.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has been conducting research on fossils in different parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan for over a year.

In context: Rajasthan's deserts had a sea million years ago

13 Jul 201847mn-year-old fossils hint Rajasthan's deserts had a marine life

FindingsGeologist say most important finding was primitive whale's fragmented jaw

A number of fossils of vertebrates such as whale, shark-teeth and crocodilian-teeth belonging to middle Eocene Age were unearthed from Bandah village in Jaisalmer.

The research was carried out by senior-geologists Krishna Kumar and Pragya Pandey under the supervision of Debasish Bhattacharya, the director of Paleontology Division.

Kumar said the most important aspect in this finding is a fragmented-jaw and vertebrae of a primitive-whale.

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Faunal record show shallow marine deposition million years ago: Geologists

Faunal recordFaunal record show shallow marine deposition million years ago: Geologists

The presence of the marine fossils of Middle Eocene period indicates that about 47 million years ago, there was a sea in this area, Kumar said.

The senior geologist added that faunal record shows similarity with earlier reported fauna of middle Eocene Harudi formation, Kachhch Basin and Gujarat, thus representing similar shallow marine deposition under tropical-temperate conditions.

The timeline of the Middle Eocene period

The Eocene Epoch constitutes the middle part of the Paleogene period (65-23 million years ago), preceded by the Paleocene and succeeded by the Oligocene epoch (34-23 million years ago); all of these periods and epochs were part of the Cenozoic Era (65 million years ago).