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Dear Dr.

I will be pleased if you can explain in just one para, in rather simple terminology, the
exact significance of your 1998 fossil find in respect of (1) the age of vindyas and (2) the
appearance of advanced life forms on earth. Bengston says he confirmed the fossils but
he is ambiguous about age. Regards, Jayaraman.
KS Jayaraman
Correspondent, Nature.

Dear Dr. Jayaraman,

Thanks for you email of 1-12-07 (6:48PM) which I could see only today.
Here is a brief explanation of your queries:

My 1998 discovery of Lower Cambrian “small shelly fossils” for the first
time clearly indicated that the age of the Lower Vindhyan sediments
needs a major revision in favour of far younger Vendian-early Cambrian
age (~650-542 Ma) than that of the half century-old prevailing notion
of its Mesoproterozoic age (~1400-1000 Ma), which was primarily
based on the ‘Riphean stromatolites’ and the radiometric dates. The
main basis for suggesting this age revision was the appearance of
varied Lower Cambrian SSFs in the Lower Vindhyan which were
considered as part of the “Cambrian explosion” bio-event during which
en-mass biomineralization of metazoa occurred allover the globe.
Further, the proposed new age revision for the Vindhyan also matched
very well with the regional stratigraphic set up that included the Trans-
Aravalli Vindhyan and the Lesser Himalayan sequences. It may be
recalled that in early eightees, I had made a similar discovery of
Cambrian SSFs from the Lesser Himalayan Krol-Tal sedimentary
succession of the Mussoorie Hills that was until that time taken for
granted as far younger Mesozoic age (~285-70 Ma) for more than a
century, but was brought much older in Vendian-early Cambrian age;
initially that discovery too was doubted but, somehow, wisdom
prevailed and other Indian agencies (e.g., ONGC, GSI) soon replicated
these SSFs, but the Russian paleontologists were the first to replicate
them. Today, the Mussoorie stratigraphy is one among the most known
Vendian-Lower Cambrian sections in the world having the “Cambrian
explosion” fossils. In the 1998 paper on Vindhyan, I referred this Lesser
Himalayan section as a role model for the Lesser Himalaya-Vindhyan
stratigraphic correlation. According to the new age revisions, both
Himalayan and Vindhyan sections have common global events: the
Terminal Proterozoic glaciation (~650 Ma; currently known as Marinoan
Glaciation) and the fossils of Cambrian explosion (542 Ma). What is
more, on physical grounds, both these successions are
“unmetamorphosed”. At present, no sediments of definite
Paleoproterozoic age in the Indian shield region have remained
unmetamorphosed and undeformed. Delhi and Bijawar
‘metamorphosed’ sediments, which have been firmly kept below the
Vindhyans in Indian Stratigraphy and assigned Paleo-Mesoproterozoic
age, are the immediate examples which suggest that how come the
Lower Vindhyans could be of Paleoproterozoic age!
In nutshell, the Lower Vindhyan stratigraphy is far younger in age
(Vendian-Early Cambrian) and is not the right succession to invoke the
deep time origin and diversification of the multicellular animals.

In nutshell, having confirmed the occurrence of fossils resembling to

those from Ediacaran (Vendian)-Cambrian rocks in the Lower Vindhyan
by Prof. Bengtson, and also that such fossils are so far not known from
any Paleoproterozoic rocks in the world, it is quite imperative that the
Vindhyan is not the right succession to invoke for the deep time origin
and diversification of the multicellular animals.

I hope the above narration would help you in getting out my point of
view. I am quite sure Prof. Bengtson would also be considering these
regional aspects of Vindhyan stratigraphy for his assessment on age of
the Lower Vindhyans and about origin and diversification of such


2. this was that is between the Terminal Proterozoic global glaciation
(~650) and the Cambrian explosion event of 542 Ma when. This was