New hybodontiform and neoselachian sharks from the Lower Triassic of Oman
Elasmobranchs are reported for the first time from Lower Triassic deposits in Oman. The well-preserved remains consist of isolated teeth, dermal denticles and fin spines, recovered from conodont residues. The low-palaeolatitude sections consist of Lopingian-Olenekian shallow and pelagic carbonates in exotics, olistoliths and breccia blocks that have been redeposited in younger allochthonous strata of the Hawasina Basin throughout the Oman Mountains at Jabal Safra (olistoliths within the Jurassic Guwayza Formation, Olenekian), as well as at Wadi Alwa (exotic Alwa Formation, Lopingian-Olenekian) and Wadi Wasit Block (slope breccia in the Al Jil Formation, Induan), both of which occur in the Ba'id region. The recovered fauna contains a small number of pre-existing genera, but is mainly composed of new hybodont and neoselachian taxa. They are identified as: Omanoselache halli Koot & Cuny sp. nov., cf. Omanoselache sp., Safrodus tozeri Koot & Cuny gen. et sp. nov. and Polyfaciodus pandus Koot & Cuny gen. et sp. nov., based on the majority of the recovered dental remains. Spine fragments are identified as cf. Amelacanthus sp. This fauna represents the second published record of neoselachian teeth from the Induan and the most extensive record from the Lower Triassic in terms of abundance and diversity. The fauna is dominated by Neoselachii, whereas other Early Triassic faunas are hybodont-dominated, and histological study of the neoselachian enameloid significantly adds to our knowledge of the early stages of their evolution. All described taxa are new to the Oman fossil record and that of western Neotethys, apart from Omanoselache and Amelacanthus, which have been recognized from Wordian deposits, and Omanoselache is the second genus from Oman known to have survived the late Permian mass extinction. The level of faunal diversity recognized here is comparable to other Early Triassic faunas but is much reduced compared to the Wordian pre-extinctions fauna.
- ISSN: 1477-2019