Photo 10 Jul 310 notes The rise of India: the complex biological history of a subcontinent

If you try and draw family trees for animals and plants in India, you will discover something that will take your breath away. Relatives do not occur in the same area; in extreme cases, they can be in other continents. And atop the tallest mountains in the Himalayas, you will find marine fossils.
The relative position of the Indian subcontinent changed dramatically over the last 200 million years, and the signatures of India’s adventures across the seas can be seen in the flora and fauna of the subcontinent. The purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is an extreme example illustrating this complex history. A large, bloated looking burrowing frog, the species spends most of the year underground, and emerges for two weeks during the monsoon to mate. It was during the monsoon season in 2000 that a team of researchers at a cardamom plantation in the southern Indian state of Kerala stumbled across this species for the first time. But its most remarkable aspect emerged after careful taxonomic analysis - genetic and morphological analysis showed that the frog belonged to a family thought to be restricted to the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean.
A small rust and red colored butterfly from the high altitudes of the Western Ghats in southern India was thought to be a kind of bushbrown (of the genus Mycalesis), closely related to other Mycalesis species found at the lower elevations. However, in 2010 a molecular study discovered that the butterfly’s closest relative was not from India at all, but from Madagascar.

(Read more about India’s geological and biological history at Mongabay)

The rise of India: the complex biological history of a subcontinent

If you try and draw family trees for animals and plants in India, you will discover something that will take your breath away. Relatives do not occur in the same area; in extreme cases, they can be in other continents. And atop the tallest mountains in the Himalayas, you will find marine fossils.

The relative position of the Indian subcontinent changed dramatically over the last 200 million years, and the signatures of India’s adventures across the seas can be seen in the flora and fauna of the subcontinent. The purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is an extreme example illustrating this complex history. A large, bloated looking burrowing frog, the species spends most of the year underground, and emerges for two weeks during the monsoon to mate. It was during the monsoon season in 2000 that a team of researchers at a cardamom plantation in the southern Indian state of Kerala stumbled across this species for the first time. But its most remarkable aspect emerged after careful taxonomic analysis - genetic and morphological analysis showed that the frog belonged to a family thought to be restricted to the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean.

A small rust and red colored butterfly from the high altitudes of the Western Ghats in southern India was thought to be a kind of bushbrown (of the genus Mycalesis), closely related to other Mycalesis species found at the lower elevations. However, in 2010 a molecular study discovered that the butterfly’s closest relative was not from India at all, but from Madagascar.

(Read more about India’s geological and biological history at Mongabay)

#India #geology #zoology #evolution #plate tectonics #Pangaea #Gondwana

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    Remembering Tibbett’s lecture….”PICTURE LAURASIA AND GONDWANA AS A GIANT PACMAN. PACMAN’S MOUTH IS THE TETHYS SEA…”
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    the fuck even
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    I found this frog REALLY odd. O_O
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