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Index > News Blog > News > ScienceDaily: Vast Amber Deposit from India: New Trove of Fossils Suggests Global Distribution of Tropical Forest Ecosystems in the Eocene

ScienceDaily: Vast Amber Deposit from India: New Trove of Fossils Suggests Global Distribution of Tropical Forest Ecosystems in the Eocene

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A vast new amber deposit in India has yielded 100 fossil spiders, bees, and flies that date to the Early Eocene, or 52-50 million years ago. These arthropods are not unique -- as would be expected on an island (which India was at that time) -- but have close evolutionary relationships with fossils from the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The amber is also the oldest evidence of a tropical broadleaf rainforest in Asia.

Bees, termites, spiders, and flies entombed in a newly-excavated amber deposit are challenging the assumption that India was an isolated island-continent in the Early Eocene, or 52-50 million years ago. Arthropods found in the Cambay deposit from western India are not unique -- as would be expected on an island -- but rather have close evolutionary relationships with fossils from other continents. The amber is also the oldest evidence of a tropical broadleaf rainforest in Asia.

The discovery is published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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