• Mahasin Ali Khan

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • First megafossil evidence of Cyatheaceous tree fern from the Indian Cenozoic

      Subir Bera Sudha Gupta Mahasin Ali Khan Aniruddha De Radhanath Mukhopadhyay

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      A part of the compressed tree fern axis with leaf and adventitious root scars in unusual arrangement from Plio–Pleistocene sediments of Arunachal Pradesh, India is described as Cyathea siwalika sp. nov. This record suggests that Cyathea was an important component of tropical evergreen forest in the area during the Plio–Pleistocene and this group subsequently declined in importance within the local vegetation.

    • First fossil evidence of Connaraceae R. Br. from Indian Cenozoic and its phytogeographical significance

      Mahasin Ali Khan Subir Bera

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      Fossil leaflet impression described here as a new species Rourea miocaudata sp. nov., showing close resemblance with the modern leaflets of Rourea caudata Planch. (Connaraceae R. Br.), has been recorded from the lower part of the Siwalik sediments (Dafla Formation, middle–upper Miocene) exposed at the road-cutting section of Pinjoli area in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. The importantmorphological characters of the fossil are its narrow elliptic leaflet, cuneate base, long caudate apex, entire margin, eucamptodromous to brochidodromous secondary veins, presence of intersecondary veins, percurrent and reticulate tertiary veins and orthogonally reticulate quaternary veins. This is the first authentic record of the occurrence of leaflet comparable to R. caudata of Connaraceae from the Cenozoic sediments of India and abroad. At present R. caudata does not grow in India and is restricted only in southeast Asia especially in China and Myanmar. This taxon probably migrated to these southeast Asian regions after lower Siwalik sedimentation (middle–upper Miocene) due to climatic change causedby post-Miocene orogenic movement of the Himalaya. The recovery of this species and other earlierdescribed evergreen taxa from the same formation, suggests the existence of a tropical, warm and humid climatic conditions during the depositional period.

    • First discovery of fossil winged seeds of Pinus L. (family Pinaceae) from the Indian Cenozoic and its palaeobiogeographic significance

      Mahasin Ali Khan Subir Bera

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      The occurrences of Pinus L. (family Pinaceae) megafossils (cones and leaf remains) have been abundantly documented from the Cenozoic sediments of eastern Asia (Japan and China), but none has been confirmed from the Indian Cenozoic till date. Here, we describe Pinus arunachalensis Khan and Bera, sp. nov. on the basis of seed remains from the middle to late Miocene Siwalik sediments of the Dafla Formation exposed around West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya. Seeds are winged, broadly oblong to oval in outline, 1.3–1.5 cm long and 0.4–0.6 cm broad (in the middle part), located basipetally and symmetrically to wing, cellular pattern of wing is seemingly undulatory and parallel with the long axis of the wing. So far, this report provides the first ever fossil record of Pinus winged seeds from India. This record suggests that Pinus was an important component of tropical-subtropical evergreen forest in the area during the Miocene and this group subsequently declined from the local vegetation probably because of the gradual intensification of MSI (monsoon index) from the Miocene to the present. We also review the historical phytogeography and highlight the phytogeographic implication of this genus.

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