A fossil wood of Gynocardia from the Valia Lignite Mine, Bharuch District, Gujarat


  • Anumeha Shukla Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow 226007, India
  • Hukam Singh Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow 226007, India
  • R.C. Mehrotra Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow 226007, India




Fossil wood, Gynocardia, Achariaceae, Early Eocene, Cambay Shale, Gujarat


The Valia Lignite Mine situated near Bharuch (Gujarat) is poorly explored as far as the animal and plant remains are concerned. In order to explore the mine for building the palaeofloristics and reconstruction of the palaeoenvironment, a few wood pieces were collected from there. Subsurface beds of the early Eocene (Cambay Shale Formation) age are exposed in this open cast mine. A new fossil wood, Gynocardia eocenica sp. nov., of the Achariaceae is described for the first time from there. Gynocardia is monotypic and found in evergreen rain forests of northeast India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The occurrence of present fossil indicates that the genus was originated in India during the early Eocene when the climatic conditions were warm and humid. Later on, it became extinct from western India due to the presence of arid to semiarid conditions and confined to northeast India having the equable climate.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2009. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 105–121.

Bhandari A, Singh H & Rana RS 2005. A note on the occurrence of ostracodes from the Vastan Lignite Mine, Gujarat. Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India 50: 141–146.

Garg R, Ateequzzaman K, Prasad V, Tripathi SKM, Singh IB, Jauhri AK & Bajpai S 2008. Age diagnostic dinoflagellate cysts from the lignite–bearing sediments of the Vastan Lignite Mine, Surat District, Gujarat, western India. Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India 53: 99–105.

Guleria JS, Sahni A, Shukla A & Singh H 2009. A Teredolites infested fossil wood from the Lower Eocene sediments of the Vastan Lignite Mine of Gujarat, western India. Palaeobotanist 58: 93–100.

Hooker JD 1872. The Flora of British India. L Reeve & Co., Kent.

Ilic J 1991. CSIRO Atlas of Hard Woods. Springer, Berlin.

International Association of Wood Anatomists 1989. IAWA list of microscopic features for hardwood identification. International Association of Wood Anatomists Bulletin New Series 10: 219–332.

Khan MA, Spicer TEV, Spicer RA, & Bera S 2014. Occurrence of Gynocardia odorata Robert Brown (Achariaceae, formerly Flacourtiaceae) from the Plio–Pleistocene sediments of Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India and its palaeoclimatic and phytogeographic significance. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 211: 1–9.

Konomatsu M & Awasthi N 1999. Plant fossils from Arung Khola and Binai Khola Formation of Churia Group (Siwalik), west–central Nepal and their palaeoecological and phytogeographical significance. Palaeobotanist 48: 163–181.

Kribs DA 1959. Commercial foreign woods on the American market. Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania.

Lacey WS 1963. Palaeobotany Technique. In: Carthey JD & Duddington I (Editors)— Viewpoint in Biology 2: 202–243. Butterworths, London.

Mabberley DJ 1997. The plant book. A portable dictionary of vascular plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Mandal J & Guleria JS 2006. Palynology of Vastan Lignite (Surat District), Gujarat: its age, palaeoecology and depositional environment. Palaeobotanist 55: 51–66.

Merh SS 1995. Geology of Gujarat. Geological Society of India, Bangalore.

Metcalfe CR & Chalk L 1950. Anatomy of the dicotyledons, 1 & 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Nolf D, Rana RS & Singh H 2006. Fish otoliths from the Ypresian (Early Eocene) of Vastan, Gujarat, India. Bulletin de l’Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Sciences de la Terre 76: 105–118.

Pearson RS & Brown HP 1932. Commercial Timbers of India, 1 & 2. Government of India, Central Publication Branch, Kolkata.

Prasad M, Antal JS, Tripathi PP & Pandey VK 1999. Further contribution to the Siwalik flora from the Koilabas area, western Nepal. Palaeobotanist 48: 49–95.

Prasad M, Singh H, Singh SK, Mukherjee D & Estrada Ruiz E 2013. Early Eocene arecoid palm wood, Palmoxylon vastanensis n. sp. from Vastan Lignite, Gujarat, India: its palaeoenvironmental implications. Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India 58: 115–123.

Prasad M, Singh H & Singh SK 2014. Early Eocene Annona fossils from Vastan Lignite Mine, Surat District, Gujarat, India: age, origin and palaeogeographic significance. Current Science 107: 1730–1735.

Punekar J & Saraswati PK 2010. Age of the Vastan Lignite in context of some oldest Cenozoic fossil mammals from India. Journal of the Geological Society of India 76: 63–68.

Purkayastha SK 1958. Family Flacourtiaceae. In: Chowdhury KA & Ghosh SS (Editors)—Indian Woods 1: 44–56. Manager of Publications, Delhi.

Rana RS, Kumar K & Singh H 2004. Vertebrate fauna from the subsurface Cambay Shale (Lower Eocene), Vastan Lignite Mine, Gujarat, India. Current Science 87: 1726–1733.

Rana RS, Singh H, Sahni A, Rose KD & Saraswati PK 2005. Early Eocene chiropterans from a new mammalian assemblage (Vastan Lignite Mine, Gujarat, Western Peninsular margin): oldest known bats from Asia. Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India 50: 93–100.

Rana RS, Kumar K, Escarguel G, Sahni A, Rose KD, Smith T, Singh H & Singh L 2008. An ailuravine rodent from the Lower Eocene Cambay Formation at Vastan, western India, and its palaeobiogeographic implications. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 53: 14.

Rao MR, Sahni A, Rana RS & Verma P 2013. Palynostratigraphy and depositional environment of Vastan Lignite Mine (Early Eocene) Gujarat, western India. Journal of Earth System Science 122: 289–307.

Sahni A, Saraswati PK, Rana RS, Kumar K, Singh H, Alimohammadian H, Sahni N, Rose KD, Singh L & Smith T 2006. Temporal constraints and depositional palaeoenvironments of the Vastan Lignite Sequence, Gujarat: analogy for the Cambay Shale hydrocarbon source rock. Indian Journal of Petroleum Geology 15: 1–20.

Samant B & Bajpai S 2001. Fish otoliths from the subsurface Cambay Shale (Lower Eocene), Surat Lignite Field, Gujarat, India. Current Science 81: 758–759.

Samant B & Tapaswi PM 2000. Fungal remains from Surat Lignite deposits (Early Eocene) of Gujarat, India. Gondwana Geological Magazine 15: 25–30.

Samant B & Tapaswi PM 2001. Palaeontology of the Early Eocene Surat Lignite deposits of Gujarat, India. Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India 46: 121–132.

Samanta A, Bera MK, Ghosh R, Bera S, Filley T, Pande K, Rathore SS, Rai J & Sarkar A 2013. Do the large carbon isotopic excursions in terrestrial organic matter across Palaeocene–Eocene boundary in India indicate intensification of tropical precipitation? Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 387: 91–103.

Shukla A, Mehrotra RC & Guleria JS 2013. Emergence and extinction of Dipterocarpaceae in western India with reference to climate change: fossil wood evidences. Journal of Earth System Sciences 122: 1373–1386.

Shukla A, Mehrotra RC, Spicer RA, Spicer, TEV & Kumar M 2014. Cool equatorial terrestrial temperatures and the South Asian monsoon in the Early Eocene: Evidence from the Gurha Mine, Rajasthan, India. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 412: 187–198.

Singh H, Prasad M, Kishor K, Rana RS & Singh SK 2010. Fossil fruits from Early Eocene Vastan Lignite, Gujarat, India: Taphonomic and phytogeographic implications. Current Science 98: 1625–1632.

Singh H, Prasad M, Kumar K & Singh SK 2015. Early Eocene macroflora and associated palynofossils from the Cambay Shale Formation, western India: Phytogeographic and palaeoclimatic implications. Palaeoworld 24: 293–323.

Sudhakar R & Basu DN 1973. A reappraisal of Palaeocene stratigraphy of the southern Cambay Basin. Bulletin of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission 10: 55–76.

Wheeler EA, Pearson RG, La Pasha CA, Zack T & Hatley W 1986. Computer–aided wood identification: References manual. North Carolina Agricultural Research Service Bulletin 474: 1–96.




How to Cite

Shukla, A., Singh, H., & Mehrotra, R. (2015). A fossil wood of Gynocardia from the Valia Lignite Mine, Bharuch District, Gujarat. Journal of Palaeosciences, 64((1-2), 163–168. https://doi.org/10.54991/jop.2015.111



Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 > >>