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A New Coryphoid Palm from the Maastrichtian-Danian Sediments of Madhya Pradesh and its Palaeoenvironmental Implications

Abstract

A new petrified palm stem Palmoxylon dindoriensis Khan, Roy et Bera, sp. nov. from the latest Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous)-earliest Danian (early Paleocene) sediments of the Deccan Intertrappean beds of Madhya Pradesh, central India is reported. Sections from different parts of the recovered stem were prepared by using standard thin section techniques and studied under transmitted light compound and scanning electron microscopes. The significant anatomical characters of the present fossil stem are the presence of well-preserved fibrovascular bundles (fvbs) with reniform type of dorsal fibrous sclerenchymatous part (dcap), two metaxylem vessel elements in each fvb, well-developed two-layered tabular parenchyma around dcap of fvb, fibrous bundles throughout the CZ, highly compact ground parenchyma tissue and the absence of centrifugal differentiation of fibrous part of fvb. The aforesaid anatomical attributes reveal its close resemblance with the extant taxa of subfamily Coryphoideae of the family Arecaceae having Cocos-type general stem organization. The core distribution of modern palms and the presence of highly compact ground parenchyma of the present fossil suggest that they thrived under a tropical, terrestrial warm, humid environment during the time of deposition (latest Maastrichtianearliest Danian).

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Acknowledgements

M. A. K., K. R., T. H. and S. M. gratefully acknowledge the Department of Botany, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University for providing infrastructural facilities to accomplish this work. S. B. acknowledges the Centre of Advanced Study (Phase-VII), Department of Botany, University of Calcutta for providing necessary facilities. We are thankful to Dr. Tapas Kumar Gangopadhyay, Sr. Geologist, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Howrah for help and cooperation during collection of fossil specimens.

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Khan, M.A., Roy, K., Hazra, T. et al. A New Coryphoid Palm from the Maastrichtian-Danian Sediments of Madhya Pradesh and its Palaeoenvironmental Implications. J Geol Soc India 95, 75–83 (2020) doi:10.1007/s12594-020-1388-1

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