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Family Naticidae (Gastropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Kutch, India and a critical reappraisal of taxonomy and time of origination of the family

  • Shiladri S. Das (a1), Subhronil Mondal (a2), Sandip Saha (a1), Subhendu Bardhan (a1) and Ranita Saha (a3)...

Abstract

Naticid taxonomy is in a state of flux owing to non-descript shell morphology and frequent convergence. Inadequate preservation of naticid body fossils has further complicated the matter in determining the true affinity and the exact time of origin of the clade. As a result, a plethora of classificatory schemes of naticid phylogeny and times of origin has been proposed. In many previous studies, true naticid affinities of fossils have been sought based on single or a few morphological characters, which are susceptible to poor preservation. In the present paper, we have attempted a holistic reappraisal of naticid taxonomy based on an extensive database of shell morphological characters and identified many distinct family- and subfamily-specific characters that survived fossilization. This approach has enabled us to identify three new naticid species from the Late Jurassic horizons of Kutch, India, thus extending back the time of origin of the family Naticidae by 30 Ma.

Analysis of character matrix data reveals that the present species—Gyrodes mahalanobisi new species, Euspira jhuraensis new species, and Euspira lakhaparensis new species—belong to two subfamilies, Gyrodinae and Polinicinae. The occurrence of typical naticid drill holes on various coeval gastropod and bivalve taxa along with these body fossils provides strong supporting evidence for the naticid affinity of these forms.

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