Early Permian glacio-marine thecamoebian assemblages from the northwest Himalayas, India
Keywords: Permian, glaciomarine, thecamoebians, Himalayas, India
Abstract. Diverse assemblages of thecamoebians are reported here from the Early Permian Manjir Formation of the northwest Himalaya in India. These thecamoebian tests were found in palynological preparations and are assigned an Early Permian age based on co-occurrence of age-diagnostic palynomorphs. Several of them show very close morphological affinity with extant thecamoebian genera, such as Amphitrema, Arcella, Centropyxis, Cyclopyxis, Cucurbitella, Difflugia and Trinema. This fauna lived in shallow-marine environments during the Early Permian deglacial phase of the widespread Late Carboniferous–Early Permian glaciation of Gondwana. The extant forms used for morphological comparison with the fossil forms were recorded from lakes and ponds in various parts of India. This study supports the current hypothesis of minimal evolution in thecamoebian lineages through geological time, and this group of protists has survived through long geological time and several mass extinction events without any significant morphological change. Stratigraphical and palaeontological evidence indicates that this fauna lived in the shallow-marine environments along the northwestern margin of Indian Gondwana during the deglacial phase of Late Carboniferous–Early Permian glaciation.