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Rhizopalmoxylon nypoides – a new palm root from the Deccan Intertrappean beds of Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India

Abstract

A new species of fossil palm rhizome having root-mat under the organ genus Rhizopalamoxylon (Rhizopalmoxylon nypoides sp. nov.) is reported. The specimen shows the closest resemblance with the modern monotypic genus Nypa Wurmb of the Arecaceae. The specimen was collected from the late Maastrichtian–early Danian sediments of Deccan Intertrappean beds, Mothi, Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh, India. Nypa is a mangrove palm naturally found in estuaries and swamps of the tropical region and represents one of the oldest records of the genus from the Deccan Intertrappean beds of central India. The abundance of palms, including Nypa and previously recorded coastal and mangrove elements such as Acrostichum, Barringtonia, Cocos, Sonneratia and marine algae (Distichoplax and Peyssonellia) from the Deccan Intertrappean beds indicate marine influence and existence of tropical rainforest ecosystem in the vicinity of fossil locality in contrast to the deciduous forests occurring there at present.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the students of Bachelor of Science of Dr. Harisingh Gour University, Sagar for their help in collecting specimens of fossils and Prof. R P Tiwari, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Harisingh Gour University, Sagar, for overall support to carry out this study. Two of them (RS and RCM) are thankful to Prof. Sunil Bajpai, Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, for permission to publish the paper. Authors thank Jemini Khatik for cartographic help in developing the geological map and sections therein.

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Correspondence to Rashmi Srivastava.

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Kathal, P.K., Srivastava, R., Mehrotra, R.C. et al. Rhizopalmoxylon nypoides – a new palm root from the Deccan Intertrappean beds of Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India. J Earth Syst Sci 126, 35 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-017-0815-1

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Keywords

  • Rhizopalmoxylon
  • Nypa
  • Deccan Intertrappean beds
  • late Maastrichtian–early Danian
  • Sagar
  • Madhya Pradesh.