55 million-year-old palm tree fossil found near Sagar - Hindustan Times
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55 million-year-old palm tree fossil found near Sagar

ByAnupam Pateriya, Sagar
Nov 23, 2015 08:17 PM IST

A team of geology department of Dr HS Gour Central University has claimed to have discovered an in-situ fossil of a palm tree in Sagar, which is more than 55 million years old.

A team of geology department of Dr HS Gour Central University has claimed to have discovered an in-situ fossil of a palm tree in Sagar, which is more than 55 million years old.

An in-situ fossil of more than 55 million-year-old palm tree.(HT photo)
An in-situ fossil of more than 55 million-year-old palm tree.(HT photo)

The team of B Sc final year students, led by Prof PK Kathal and Prof PO Alexander, was on a field training near Mothi village, 15 km from Sagar on Jhansi road, when it unearthed a sedimentary rock having an in-situ fossil of a palm tree belonging to Palm (Palmxelon) family.

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According to Prof Kathal, an assemblage of over 20 palm fossils was recovered during the exercise. However, the discovery of an assemblage with one stem of over 3-foot length and 1.5-foot diameter, complete with roots and bark, is so far the biggest. These lived along the primitive lakes around 50-60 million years ago, said Prof Kathal.

He said the Central Indian region had many volcanic layers known as Deccan Trap formed in the period between 33 million and 65 million years ago due to successive volcanic activities.

During the pause period, which might have extended over thousands of years, between two successive flows thin sedimentary rocks developed on small scale in some lakes. These sediments became good repository of the animal and plant life of that time.

The stem fossil, intact with roots recovered, shows us that the preservation took place right where the tree grew or else the roots would have been rooted or disintegrated.

The size of the tree, that is fairly large, also suggests that such huge log could not have been drifted under poor energy conditions.

Prof Kathal said this is the first time that such in-situ preservation has been found in the region and so it makes the discovery important.

“We will further research in this area, which will help us obtain reliable information and conclusion related to kind of life that existed in this part of sub-continent millions of years ago,” he said.

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