Indian Palæontology


    THE Geological Survey of India continues to publish well-illustrated and exhaustive memoirs on the fossil invertebrate faunas of the region with which it deals. Two more on the Himalayan Trias have lately appeared, and are of much interest for study in connection with recent work on the Triassic fossils of other areas. The first memoir (Palaeontologia Indica, ser. 15, vol. vi., No. 1, 1909), on the Lower Triassic Cephalopoda from Spiti, Malla Johar, and Byans, was begun several years ago by the late A. von Krafft, who collected much of the material. It has now been revised, completed, and brought up to date by Prof. C. Diener. It begins with a synopsis of the marine Lower Triassic formations of the Himalayas, which are proved to constitute a remarkably complete series. The detailed descriptions of the fossils which follow show that at least four distinct and successive faunas occur in the rocks of the district under consideration. Of these, the lowest or earliest is perhaps the most interesting, because it seems to represent the dawn of Triassic life in the sea. It is noteworthy for the complete absence of the numerous types of Paleozoic Brachiopoda, which are the predominating element in the Permian rocks of the Salt Range and the Himalayas. Both in the Alps and in the Himalayas the Permian and Trias are connected by an uninterrupted sequence of sedimentary deposits. The second memoir, by Prof. Diener (loc. cit., No. 2), is more special, treating of the fauna, chiefly Cephalopoda, of the Thaumatocrinus Limestone of Painkhanda. He returns to a discussion of the age of this limestone, and shows that enough of its ammonites are identical with (or closely allied to) species found in Europe to justify its correlation with the Julie horizon, or zone of Trachyceras aonoides.

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    Indian Palæontology . Nature 83, 445 (1910).

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