Palaeogene palaeobiogeography of the Indian subcontinent

Sahni, Ashok ; Kumar, Vimal (1974) Palaeogene palaeobiogeography of the Indian subcontinent Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 15 (3). pp. 209-226. ISSN 0031-0182

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Certain palaeoecological criteria in the reconstruction of the Palaeogene palaeobiogeography of the Indian subcontinent are discussed. The Early Palaeogene is characterised by marine oscillations, a prolific invertebrate fauna, extensive coal facies development and outpouring of basaltic lava flows, the last being a feature connected with the movement of the Indian Plate and coinciding with a Himalayan orogenic impulse. The Middle Eocene transgression marks the transition of marine sedimentation to fluvial conditions in northern India with the presence of a fairly diverse mammalian fauna in northwestern Pakistan and northern India. During the Late Oligocene, mammals clearly ancestral to the much more prolific Siwalik fauna were present in western Pakistan, northeastern India and southcentral Burma. The flora consists of mainly tropical to subtropical families with the addition of some temperate elements in Assam in the latter half of the Eocene and Oligocene. Invertebrates indicate a close affinity between the western and eastern sectors and suggest that the sea was continuous in the north at least up to the Palaeocene. With the emergence of land in the northeastern part of the subcontinent, the fauna of Assam acquired distinct Indo-Pacific elements similar to those of Burma and the Indonesian Arc. Later, the sea was divided into two gulfs which gradually shrank towards the end of the Palaeogene and disappeared by the Middle Miocene.

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