Treeshrew Spotted In Jammu and Kashmir:
Scientists have spotted fossils of a small mammal resembling squirrels called treeshrew (known as Sivatupaia ramnagarensis) belonging to a new genus and species from Jammu and Kashmir.
- This treeshrew currently represents the oldest record of fossil tupaiids in the Siwaliks, extending their time range by 2.5-4.0 Million Years in the region.
- Tupaiids refers to several species of East Indian and Asiatic insectivores of the family Tupaiidæ, somewhat resembling squirrels in size and arboreal habits. The nose is long and pointed.
- Treeshrews are very rare elements of the fossil record, with only a few species known throughout the entire Cenozoic era.
- Cenozoic Era means 66 million years ago until today or ‘recent life’.
- During this era, plants and animals look most like those on Earth today.
- Periods of the Cenozoic Era are split into even smaller parts known as Epochs.
- Dietary analyses suggest that the new tupaiid was probably adapted for a less mechanically challenging or more fruit eating diet compared to other extant and fossil tupaiids.
- A dietary analysis is a nutritional assessment that allows technicians to analyse the patterns, quantity, and nutritional quality of food consumed by an individual.
- The identification of time sensitive dental features and species in the current collection helps to provide a more precise age estimate for this Ramnagar locality as between 12.7-11.6 Million Years.