Amphibians as Indicators of Early Tertiary "Out-of-India" Dispersal of Vertebrates

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Science  06 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5514, pp. 93-95
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058875

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Sixty-five million years ago, massive volcanism produced on the India-Seychelles landmass the largest continental lava deposit (Deccan Traps) of the past 200 million years. Using a molecular clock–independent approach for inferring dating information from molecular phylogenies, we show that multiple lineages of frogs survived Deccan Traps volcanism after millions of years of isolation on drifting India. The collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates was followed by wide dispersal of several of these lineages. This “out-of-India” scenario reveals a zoogeographical pattern that might reconcile paleontological and molecular data in other vertebrate groups.

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