90 Million Years Old Ichthyosaur Fossils Found in Gujarat

Fossils of Ichthyosaurs (fish like lizards) that lived nearly 90 million years ago have been found in Gujarat. Here is the story.

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Ichthyosaurs fossil over 90 million years old found in Kutch region of Gujarat /Credit: Guntupalli V.R. Prasad CC-BY

An unbroken and almost complete fossil from the Jurassic-era belonging to a peculiar animal that looks like a combination of dolphin and lizard, and lived during the age of the dinosaurs, has been excavated in Kutch, Gujarat. These Ichthyosaurs (fish like lizards) were considered to be large reptiles that lived simultaneously with dinosaurs. It is argues that many of their fossils have been found in places like North America and Europe along with other regions of Australia and South America.

Guntupalli Prasad, a geologist at the University of Delhi is recorded to have said that when a fossil bone from the animal’s skeleton was initially discovered by an Indo-German research team in Kutch in 2016, they speculated it to be a dinosaur. “But the bone was too long and later the whole skeleton was unearthed. It’s the first Jurassic ichthyosaur found in India,” he is recorded to have said.

The skeleton which is nearly 5.5 meter long is speculated to belong to the Ophthalmosauridae family, which lived between 165 and 90 million years ago, when the arid region of the Kutch area used to be a sea. The remains of the creature were discovered among fossils of ammonites and squid-like belemnites, and the manner in which the creature’s teeth were worn out suggest it ate animals. This is not time that the fossils of this genre of creatures has been found in India, in fact remnants are said to have been discovered from Tamil Nadu in 2016.  This indeed in an interesting discovery in archeology and is sure to be of keen interest to many an audience.


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