Science and history prove that the planet has seen the growth and destruction of civilizations. What was a jungle thousands of years ago at a specific place is now a desert, similarly, a place that was a desert many years ago is now a growing human settlement?
Excitingly, a group of Indian and French scientists have revealed recently that the barren Kutch desert was a sub-tropical forest long ago. Kutch, as we know, is an island flanked by the Rann of Kutch in north and northeast; the Arabian Sea in the west; and the Gulf of Kutch in the south and southeast. Kutch splits its border with Pakistan along the northern edge of the Rann of Kutch.
According to an article published in the press, the scientists discovered that the forest in Kutch was rich in numerous varieties of birds, marine creatures and land animals. The decisions have been made after more than a decade-long evaluation of a tranche of vertebrate fossils dating back to 14 million years.
The fossils are mostly ribs, bones and parts of teeth, and were found from Palasava village of Rapar taluka in Kutch. The fossil discoveries prove that the plants and animals living in Kutch lived in tropical to subtropical and humid/wet climates at the time of Middle Miocene (13 million years ago).
So far, no matter what fossils have been found are all marine animals owing to their proximity to the Arabian Sea. Apparently, geological modifications gradually plugged in the salt-flats’ link to the sea, and thus the area developed a large lake and later, salty wetlands. The study states how the mammals travelled to Africa and the Indian subcontinent. At that time, a part of India was in the Gondwanaland supercontinent about 300 million years ago.
A senior researcher at the K.S.K.V. Kachchh University told the media that giraffes, elephants, rhinos and giant crocodiles lived in a closed basin in Kutch 14 million years ago which is a remarkable finding.
Given this extraordinary discovery, we wonder what caused the forested region of Kutch to suffer extinction?