Gujarat Current Affairs

Ichthyosaur fossil discovered for first time in India

Geologists for the first time have discovered 152 million-year-old fossil of Ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile in in Kutch desert region of Gujarat. The specimen belongs to Ophthalmosauridae family of ichthyosaurs that lived in oceans between 165 and 90 million years ago.

The 5.5 m long fossil was found inside rocks from esozoic Era, which ran between 252 and 66 million years ago along with fossils of ammonites and squid-like belemnites. The detail examination fossil’s teeth suggested that it was top-tier predator in its ecosystem and ate animals.


Ichthyosaur (or fish- lizards in Greek) was large reptile that lived at same time as dinosaurs. They were often misidentified as swimming dinosaurs and they first appeared in early Triassic period. It was noted for its sharp, robust teeth. It became extinct before dinosaurs, dying out in early part of late Cretaceous period.

Significance of discovery

Until now many ichthyosaur fossils were found in North America and Europe and fossil record in Southern Hemisphere was mostly limited to South America and Australia. The discovery throws light on evolution and diversity of ichthyosaurs in Indo-Madagascan region of former Gondwanaland. It also shows India’s biological connectivity with other continents in Jurassic. It may also give information in marine connection between India and South America about 150 million years ago.

Earlier too, researchers had discovered evidence of ichthyosaurs from Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu in 2016 which belonged to prehistoric India, but these remnants were only fossils of teeth and part of vertebra. However, in Kutch, researchers reported finding of vertebral column, neural spines, ribs and part of snout.


PM launches South Asia’s first Ro-Ro ferry service in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first phase of Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch district in the Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat. It is South Asia’s first world class Ro-Ro ferry service.

Key Facts

The Ro-Ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo (such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars) that are driven on and off ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. It is opposite of lift-on and lift-off (lo-lo) vessels which uses crane to load and unload cargo.

The first of its kind Ro-Ro ferry in India will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles and 250 passengers between the two ports. It will reduce the distance between Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej is South Gujrat from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres. Besides, it will also reduce seven to eight hours of travel time to link Saurashtra with South Gujarat to one hour.


The ferry service will save travel time and fuel and reduce pressure on congested roads. ‎It will promote regional trade and business and prove to be game-changer for transportation of goods and passengers. ‎It will provide at least one crore jobs in the next 4-5 years. ‎It will give a boost to the local economy.


‎Ro-Ro ferry is a small part of Sagarmala project of Central Government that aims to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500-km long coastline, 14,500-km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.