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Vertebrate fauna from the Deccan volcanic province: Response to volcanic activity

By
Guntupalli V.R. Prasad
Guntupalli V.R. Prasad
Department of Geology, Centre for Advanced Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
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Ashok Sahni
Ashok Sahni
98, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, India
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Published:
September 01, 2014

During the last two decades, extensive paleontological research in the main Deccan volcanic province has led to a better understanding of biodiversity close to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Several infratrappean localities exposed in Jabalpur, Kheda, Balasinor, Rahioli, Dohad, and Bagh in the Narmada Valley (India) preserve one of the most geographically widespread dinosaur nesting sites known in the world. The well-studied intertrappean beds, such as those of Naskal on the southern margin, Asifabad and Nagpur on the eastern margin, Kisalpuri and Mohgaon Kalan on the northeastern margin, and Anjar on the northwestern margin of the main Deccan volcanic province, have yielded Maastrichtian fish (Igdabatis) and dinosaur remains and palynofossils (Aquilapollenites-Gabonisporites-Ariadnaesporites), either separately or in association, that suggest a Maastrichtian age for these beds. Only two intertrappean sections, Papro on the northern margin and Jhilmili on the northeastern margin of the main Deccan volcanic province, have produced Paleocene fossils. The fossil record from the infratrappean and intertrappean beds demonstrates that the dinosaurs survived the early phase of volcanism, though there was an apparent decline in their diversity, and that freshwater vertebrate fauna was least affected by the initial volcanic activity. The episodic nature of Deccan volcanism may possibly explain the survival of many freshwater and terrestrial communities during the periods of quiescence. In addition, as in the case of the late Maastrichtian sections in eastern Montana, North America, detritus-feeding freshwater vertebrate communities possibly had greater potential for survival than the terrestrial communities dependent on primary productivity. A close examination of the vertebrate faunal distribution across the two stratigraphic intervals (infratrappean and intertrappean) suggests that sampling bias in the infratrappean beds may have also masked the actual diversity of these beds.

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GSA Special Papers

Volcanism, Impacts, and Mass Extinctions: Causes and Effects

Gerta Keller
Gerta Keller
Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA
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Andrew C. Kerr
Andrew C. Kerr
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, Wales, UK
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Geological Society of America
Volume
505
ISBN print:
9780813725055
Publication date:
September 01, 2014

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