Investigation on plant fossils from Seria Naka in the Himalayan foot-hills of Uttar Pradesh, India
Keywords:Megafossils, Leaf-impressions, Angiosperms, Palaeoclimate, Phytogeography, Lower Siwalik, Middle Miocene, India
A floral assemblage consisting of leaf-impressions recovered from the Lower Siwalik sediments of Seria Naka, about 30 km north-west of Tulsipur town in Gonda District of Uttar Pradesh, India has been described and discussed in the present paper. The assemblage comprises 10 taxa belonging to seven dicotyledonous families - Anonaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Polygalaceae, Sapindaceae, Anacardiaceae, Fabaceae and Ebenaceae. An analysis of the floral assemblage with respect to the distribution pattern of modem equivalent taxa reveals the prevalence of warm and humid climates in the region during the deposition of these sediments. The fossil flora also indicates that tropical evergreen forests with few moist deciduous plants were flourishing around Seria Naka in the Himalayan foot-hills during Middle Miocene in contrast to the mixed deciduous type of present-day forests. Further, the presence of some Malayan elements like Goniothalamus meboldii, Mitrephora macrophylla and Nephelium glabrum is phytogeographically important supporting the view of the migration of some taxa from Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent during the Neogene.