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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Manchester, Steven  [1], Kapgate, Dashrath [2].

Fruits and seeds of the late Maastrichtian Deccan cherts of central India.

The fruit and seed flora of the Deccan Intertrappean Beds of central India provides a unique opportunity for detailed investigation of taxonomic affinities and biogeographic relationships of plants that populated the Indian subcontinent about 66 million years ago, when isolated from other continents, approximately 15 million years before its tectonic impact with Eurasia. The fossils are found among sedimentary beds that were deposited during quiescent intervals between the major outpourings of basaltic lava ranging from late Maastrichtian to early Paleocene. Silicified within chert, the plants reveal details of morphology and anatomy through examination of fractured surfaces, serial sectioning, and successive acetate peels. More than 30 genera of fruits and seeds have been recognized but most of them require intensive comparative work to assess their systematic affinities with confidence. Previously described taxa under renewed consideration include the probable monocots Graminocarpon (not really a grass), Hyphaeneocarpon, Musa,”Palmocarpon, Sahnipushpam, Tricoccites, Viracarpon, and a variety of other angiosperms including Baccatocarpon, Centrospermocarpon, Chitaleocarpon, Daberocarpon, Deccanocarpon, Duabangocarpon, Enigmocarpon (cf. Lythraceae), Euphorbiocarpon, Harrisocarpon, Indocarpa, Krempocarpon, Lytherocarpon, Mohgaocarpon, Phyllanthocarpon (Phylanthaceae), Sahniocarpon, Surangea (capsular fruit--not a fern synangium as originally thought), Triloculocarpon, Unonasperumum (Annonaceae) and Wingospermocarpon. Intensified study of these taxa, with attention to anatomical as well as morphological features, utilizing 3D image reconstruction from successive peels, and inclusion within broader phylogenetic comparisons, are aimed at improving our understanding of the taxonomic relationships of this flora and allow for more informed biogeographic comparisons with the floras of Madagascar, Africa, Europe, eastern Asia, and other regions of the world. Recently recognized biogeographically informative additions to the flora include Vitaceae (fleshy fruits with in situ seeds of Indovitis chitaleyae), Rhamnaceae (winged fruit of Paliurus sp.), and Cornaceae (bilocular endocarp of Cornus subg. Cornus sp.). The earlier fossil records in India than in the rest of Eurasia and North America favor the hypothesis that these taxa originated on the Indian Island while it was still isolated in the southern hemisphere.

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1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - J.M. Patel College, Department of Botany, Bhandara, MS, 441904, India


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: Whitewater/Grove
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 21008
Abstract ID:651
Candidate for Awards:None

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