High diversity of acrodontan lizards in the Early Eocene Vastan Lignite Mine of India

Rajendra S. Rana, Marc Augé, Annelise Folie, Kenneth D. Rose, Kishor Kumar, Lachham Singh, Ashok Sahni, Thierry Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Ypresian Cambay Formation at Vastan Mine in Gujarat, western India, has yielded a rich herpetological fauna including snakes, lizards and amphibians, but strangely, lizards are only represented by Acrodonta. Here we describe the acrodontan assemblage based on numerous, diverse and well-preserved dentaries, premaxillae, and maxillae. Among the five taxa described one new genus and species characterised by a short splenial represents the youngest occurrence of the extinct family Priscagamidae. The other four taxa belong to the extant family Agamidae. Two of them previously known, Vastanagama susanae and Tinosaurus indicus, are here revised. The two other taxa are new. The first one, Suratagama neeraae gen. and sp. nov., is characterised by the presence of six small pleurodont teeth with a nearly cylindrical shaft and an obtusely pointed apex. The second one, Indiagama gujarata gen. and sp. nov., has rectangular teeth in lateral view, unicuspid crowns forming a nearly horizontal cutting edge, and wear facets on both the lingual and labial sides of the dentary. Our results confirm that Acrodonta is the only lizard group present in Vastan, whereas many other groups are already present from the beginning of the Early Eocene on the other continents. The diversity of the agamids in Vastan and the absence of non-acrodontan lizard in India tentatively support the Out-of-India hypothesis for agamids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-301
Number of pages12
JournalGeologica Belgica
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Agamidae
  • Cambay Formation
  • Gujarat
  • Squamata
  • Ypresian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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