Friday, February 19, 2021

Fossil Dickinsonia in Bhimbetka Sandstones: Nature India Article

 My short piece published in Nature India on the surprising report of Ediacaran age fossil Dickinsonia in the Bhimbetka caves near Bhopal, Central India, and its geological and biological significance.

an excerpt:

"The biological affinity of Dickinsonia is controversial. Most scientists tend to accept it as an early animal. Some like Gregory Retallack, co-discoverer of this fossil, think of it to be a large algae or lichen. He argues that the mainstream view that Dickinsonia was a marine animal is based on weak evidence, while his own detailed work shows that Dickinsonia was a land creature, forming biogenic crusts on soils. Interestingly, the Bhimbetka rocks were deposited in a mostly terrestrial setting, more in alignment with Retallack's interpretation. Importantly for geology, its restricted time span, being found only in rocks between 555-550 million years old, makes it a diagnostic age indicator. So far, no animal fossils have been found in the Vindhyan rocks. This finding may inspire geologists to start searching contemporaneous Indian basins afresh for such subtle clues".

Fossil from dawn of animal life found in India’s famous caves.

No comments:

Post a Comment