CES Buzz at CES on 3 March 2021 at 3:00 pm titled "Dispersal vs. Vicariance: The origin of India’s extant tetrapod fauna " by Dr. Praveen Karanth from IISc
Given India’s ancient association with Gondwana and subsequent separation from Africa and Madagascar, vicariance has often been invoked to explain the current distribution of some of its so-called Gondwanan biota. In this talk, I review phylogenetic studies and fossil data of Indian tetrapods to ascertain the relative contribution of dispersal and vicariance in shaping their distributions. Results indicate that Paleogene dispersal into India better explains the current distribution of most of the tetrapods in India. Vicariance is invoked for three fossorial groups, namely caecilians, frog family Nasikabatrachidae and blindsnake family Gerrhopilidae. It is plausible that much of India’s Late Cretaceous tetrapod fauna of Gondwanan origin went extinct due to Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction and Deccan volcanism. Subsequently, it was replaced by intrusive elements as India proceeded to dock with Asia in the Paleogene. In this regard, soil invertebrates might be a promising study system to understand the Gondwanan component of Indian biota.