Cretaceous-Paleocene Terrestrial Faunas of India: Lack of Endemism During Drifting of the Indian Plate

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Science  26 Oct 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4673, pp. 441-443
DOI: 10.1126/science.226.4673.441


Recent paleontological investigations of six sections fringing the Deccan volcanic outcrops of the Indian peninsula indicate that terrestrial faunas during the Cretaceous-Paleocene transition lacked the endemism predicted by geophysical models of an oceanically isolated Indian subcontinent. At the generic and familial level there is a close correspondence between the Cretaceous vertebrates of peninsular India, Africa, and Madagascar. This suggests that a dispersal corridor, consisting of presently submerged aseismic elements (the Mascarene Plateau and the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge), existed between these landmasses about 80 million years ago as India drifted close to eastern Africa.