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Faunal similarity in Madagascan and South Indian Late Cretaceous vertebrate faunas.

December 25 , 2016:


The Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of the Cauvery Basin is strongly similar to that of Madagascar.
The Cauvery Basin and Madagascar cluster to the exclusion of the Deccan Volcanic Province.
Faunas imply long-maintained vicariance or dispersal despite several million years separation.


The modern-day fauna of the Indian subcontinent is a mixture of ancestral Gondwanan clades, Laurasian immigrants, and endemic radiations as a result of its complex geological history. During the latest Cretaceous, the Indian subcontinent has been reconstructed at peak isolation from other continents, having separated last from Madagascar approximately 85 million years ago. The majority of vertebrate fossils known from the Late Cretaceous of India are from the Deccan Volcanic Province, but fossil material from the Cauvery Basin in South India has provided a second diverse vertebrate fauna from this time period. Here, we use the modified Forbes and Raup-Crick faunal dissimilarity indices to demonstrate that the faunal composition of the Cauvery Basin is distinct from that of the Deccan intertrappean and infratrappean beds, and shows greater faunal similarity with the Maevarano Basin of Madagascar than other Indian localities, despite several million years having elapsed since the geological separation of the two island continents.

Thomas John Dixon Halliday, Guntupalli Veera Raghavendra Prasad & Anjali Goswami (2016)
Faunal similarity in Madagascan and South Indian Late Cretaceous vertebrate faunas.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.11.046


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