Record of Leaf and Pollen cf. Sloanea (Elaeocarpaceae) from the Middle Siwalik of Darjeeling sub-Himalaya, India and its Palaeobiogeographic Implications

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Research Article

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Journal of the Geological Society of India


Fossil leaf impressions and pollen grains comparable to modern Sloanea sp. of Elaeocarpaceae collected from the middle part of the Siwalik sediments (Geabdat Sandstone Formation; Pliocene) in Darjeeling foothills of eastern Himalaya are reported in the present communication. On the basis of macro morphological features, leaf remains are described as a new species Sloanea siwalika sp. nov. This is the first authentic record of the occurrence of leaf and pollen grains comparable to the genus Sloanea L. from the Cenozoic sediments of India and Asia as well. The recovery of this species and other earlier-described evergreen taxa from the same formation, suggests the existence of a tropical, warm and humid climatic conditions during the depositional period. The present study further suggests that after Pliocene the taxon might have shifted from Darjeeling Himalayan region to the adjoining southeast Asian land masses, due to possible climate change caused by post-Pliocene orogenic movement of the Himalaya.

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