Discovery of marine fossils suggests Jaisalmer desert was a sea 47 million years ago

A number of fossils of vertebrates such as whales, shark teeth, crocodilian teeth and bones of turtles from the middle Eocene Age were unearthed from Bandah village in Jaisalmer

science Updated: Jul 13, 2018 18:14 IST
marine fossils,Jaisalmer,jaisalmer desert
The Akal Wood Fossil Park, 18km from Jaisalmer. Experts said the presence of the marine fossils of the Middle Eocene period indicates that about 47 million years ago, there was a sea in the Jaisalmer area.(HT)

Palaeontologists have found 47 million-year-old marine fossils in the deserts of Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district, , which experts said suggest that the area was under sea in pre-historic times.

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

A number of fossils of vertebrates such as whales, shark teeth, crocodilian teeth and bones of turtles from the 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 Palaeontology Division.

Kumar said the most important find was a fragmented jaw and vertebrae, which have been identified as that of a primitive whale.

The presence of the marine fossils of the Middle Eocene period indicates that about 47 million years ago, there was a sea in this area, he said, adding that faunal record shows similarity with earlier reported fauna of middle Eocene Harudi formation, Kachhch Basin and Gujarat, thus representing similar shallow marine depositions under tropical-temperate conditions.

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). PTI AG NSD NSD

First Published: Jul 13, 2018 18:10 IST