Tuesday, October 26, 2010

India was the home of oldest insects.

India has always been the cradle of mankind. It is now proved that it has been so even for the insects! Insects that lived 100 million years ago are now being discovered in Gujarat! Some time ago I read another report saying that even the fossils of the oldest plants ever found anywhere on the earth have been found in the Vindhya mountains. India being the centre of evolution of any form of life is thus being made out from the discoveries.

All these are proving our puranic description of land form and life and that mankind had  evolved in this land. Jambhu dweepa had been the centre of activity and there were layers of other land forms surrounding it. Indian landmass situated in the Jambhu dweepa moved towards north and collided with the Asian landmass giving rise to the formation of Himalayas 10 million years ago. The Puranic lore of Shiva Parvathy wedding attracting huge number of invitees that resulted in the ducking of the landmass under the Himalayas can be related to the initial impact on the landmass that kept pushing the Himalayas up. The Southern part of the landmass lifted up as a result according to puranas.

The exact description was that Vindhyas were rising as if to dwarf the Meru. Sage Agasthya was sent by Lord Shiva to restore balance. He caused the Vindhyas to stop growing and went to the South and made it even with the northern landmass. This is the story. But the derivations from this story are now being discovered as part of scientific research. 

This story and the current discoveries show that India was not of the shape and size that it is now. It also shows that India was part of a larger landmass that moved northwards. From Sangam Tamil we know that India had extended for 1000s of square miles south of Kanyakumari of today. The entire land mass had separated from Africa and moved towards north. This started 100 million years ago. 

The picture that we see in the internet is not accurate because it does not show the larger landmass that moved and collided in such a way that the mighty Himalayas had risen up.

The impact zone of this collision had been felt from North west India upto Burma. Throughout this region the Himalayas had risen up. So the landmass at that time must have had the floor of the Bay of Bengal in considerable mass to enable such a push up. (Read my old articles on this and how Bay of Bengal came into being)

The issue of interest for this post is that insects that are now seen in many parts of the world had been found in the Indian mass at a time when it had not collided with Asia. This discovery proposes the theory that the Indian land mass must been in the south and closer to Africa and Australia, through which those life forms might have shifted to other parts of the world in that era.

The fossilized forms of life had traveled along with the land mass and are now seen at places away from the original climates where they could have thrived.

While these findings indicate a lively Indian mass about 100 million years go, the genetic studies reveal human life thriving in that place about a million years ago. Though the original movement is from east Africa, human population had indeed thrived over many 1000s of years in the Indian landmass only according to those studies. It was from India, further movement had happened. Such a development could have happened if only the Indian landmass had been huge and close to Africa. This also supports the idea of an extended Indian landmass being closer to Africa in those times.

If we look at the google earth, we can find the long mountain ranges from the 2 sides of South India submerged in the Indian ocean. On the east, the range goes upto Australia. The islands of Andaman and Nicobar are the visible parts of this mountain range. On the west, the mountain range goes upto Madagascar. The Lakshdweep are the visible parts of this mountain range. The land in-between them must have formed part of the Indian landmass which was known as Kumari khandam in Tamil texts. The texts indeed speak about “pan malai adukkam” – a series of mountain ranges.

The discovery of ancient fauna and flora in the present Indian land mass is only a remnant. The sub merged area between the 2 undersea mountain ranges would have supported a large number of lives of different forms. Deep sea explorations and exploration of the submerged mountain ranges in the Indian Ocean are the need of the hour.




Insects in Ancient Amber Reveal Unexpected India-Asia Ties

By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
posted: 25 October 2010 03:02 pm ET


A 50 million-year-old spider trapped in amber. Credit: David Grimaldi/AMNH

A winged Psocoptera insect trapped in amber. Credit: David Grimaldi/AMNH

A coccid insect extracted from amber, magnified with a scanning electron microscope. Credit: University of Bonn.

A cache of ancient insects trapped in amber reveals that the Indian subcontinent wasn't as isolated 50 million years ago as previously believed, according to a new study.
The find, 330 pounds (150 kilograms) of fossilized tree resin excavated from northern India, contains more than 700 preserved insects and spiders, as well as plant spores, leaf portions and small flowers. Geological evidence shows that the landmass had been drifting independently for about 100 million years at the time, but the organisms in the amber are closely related to other species found in northern Europe, Australia, New Guinea and tropical America, the researchers report online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

That means the fauna of India didn't evolve in isolation, said study researcher David Grimaldi, the curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
"There must have been some connections between India and Asia that geologists aren't accounting for," Grimaldi told LiveScience.

Stepping stones
The resin is found in India's Gujarat province, where open-pit mining brings it to the surface. For the past three years, researchers have been visiting the mines for 10 days per year to collect the fossil-rich amber, study coauthor Jes Rust, professor of invertebrate paleontology at the Universität Bonn in Germany, told LiveScience.

Rust, Grimaldi and their colleagues then return the amber to the lab, where they painstakingly seek out the tiny insects, spiders and other arthropods inside. The preservation of the arthropods is particularly good in this amber, Rust said, meaning the researchers can dissolve the resin and extract whole preserved insects for study.

"This is really unusual," Rust said. "It's like if you would have a complete dinosaur."
What is now the Indian subcontinent broke away from Africa about 150 million years ago and didn't join up with another landmass — Asia — until about 50 million years ago. So the research team expected to find a host of unique species that had evolved over those 100 million years. Instead, they learned that the insects and spiders in the amber are related to other species found fossilized everywhere from the Dominican Republic to the Baltic.

That could mean that Asia and India collided a few million years earlier than geological evidence suggests, Grimaldi said. Or it could support the theory that there were small islands connecting the continents, allowing species to "hop" across.
"Even though India might not have slammed into Asia at that time, there might have been stepping stones," Grimaldi said.

Ancient forests
Also hidden in the amber were clues to the ecosystem in India 50 million years ago. The Gujarat amber is the oldest evidence of a modern-type tropical rainforest in Asia, Grimaldi said. Plant fragments both in the amber and fossilized nearby paint a picture of an ancient landscape that would have looked much like the forests of Borneo today. The resin itself comes from a family of trees called Dipterocarpaceae, which dominate modern tropical forests in southeast Asia.

"The evidence is beginning to accumulate that tropical forests are ancient," Grimaldi said. "They probably go back to right after the K-T boundary," between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods 65 million years ago, when non-avian dinosaurs went extinct.
The team plans to return to Gujarat in January to collect more samples, and the work in the lab is only beginning, the researchers said.
"We're still discovering all sorts of cool stuff in this amber," Grimaldi said. "Every day."

No comments: