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Early Miocene mammals from central Kutch (Gujarat), Western India: Implications for geochronology, biogeography, eustacy and intercontinental dispersals

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Terrestrial mammals comprising eight taxa (Deinotherium sindiense, Gomphotheriidae indet., Brachypotherium sp., Parabrachyodus hyopotamoides, Sivameryx palaeindicus, Conohyus sindiensis or Tetraconodon malensis, Giraffokeryx punjabiensis, and Dorcatherium minus) occur at Pasuda in the Khari Nadi Formation of central Kutch, Gujarat State, Western India. Although restricted, the assemblage, correlated biochronologically to the latest Burdigalian, is, collectively, the most comprehensive sample of early Miocene terrestrial mammals known from Western India. The presence of two proboscidean taxa (Deinotheriidae, Gomphotheriidae) in the assemblage documents the Out-of-Africa proboscidean dispersal event at the end of the Early Miocene, suggesting that the assemblage is younger than 17.5 Ma. The Kutch mammal assemblages provide evidence for other Early Miocene faunal exchanges between Afro-Arabia and the Indian subcontinent, including anthracotheres, suids, tragulids and possibly giraffids. The new collections assume significance in view of the hitherto poorly known nature of the earliest Neogene fossil mammals of India, not only from Kutch but from broadly coeval deposits including the Murree, Dagshai/Kasauli, and Dharamsala beds in the NW Outer Himalaya, and the Kargil Formation of Ladakh in the NW Trans-Himalaya.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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