Article: A new diverse shark fauna from the Wordian (Middle Permian) Khuff Formation in the interior Haushi-Huqf area, Sultanate of Oman
Chondrichthyans are newly reported from the autochthonous Wordian Khuff Formation (middle Permian), cropping out in well-exposed, low-palaeolatitude sections in the interior Haushi-Huqf area of Oman. The shark remains comprise isolated teeth, dermal denticles and fin spines and have been recovered by processing limestone in buffered acetic acid from bulk rock samples. The fauna consists of mainly ctenacanthiform and hybodontiform taxa, identified as Glikmanius cf. myachkovensis, Glikmanius culmenis sp. nov.,Omanoselache hendersoni gen. et sp. nov., Omanoselache angiolinii gen. et sp. nov., cf. Omanoselache sp., Reesodus underwoodi gen et sp. nov., Teresodus amplexus gen. et sp. nov., Gunnellodus bellistriatus, Khuffia lenis gen. et sp. nov., Khuffia prolixa gen. et sp. nov. and Euselachii sp. indet. Additional specimens include rare teeth of the lonchidiid cf. ‘Palaeozoic Genus 1’ sp., of the neoselachianCooleyella cf. fordi and a further indeterminate neoselachian, of an indeterminate petalodont and of the holocephalan Deltodus aff.mercurei and Solenodus cf. crenulatus. Fin spines add a further two taxa, Nemacanthus sp. and Amelacanthus cf. sulcatus, which have neoselachian affinities and therefore an unclear relationship to the recovered teeth. The occurrence of Nemacanthus within this Wordian fauna represents the oldest record of this taxon and its only known occurrence in the Palaeozoic. Of the remaining genera, Glikmaniushas previously been recorded from the Wordian, whereas for all the others, this study represents their youngest known stratigraphic occurrence and first occurrence in Guadalupian (middle Permian) strata. This adds significantly to our knowledge of the global diversity of chondrichthyans preceding the end-Guadalupian biotic crisis. Palaeogeographically, for all taxa, this study represents the first record from the western fringe of the marine Neotethyan basin, and only Cooleyella was previously known from the southern (Gondwanan) part of the Pangaean continental margin.