IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


6th June, 2022 Geography


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  • Khonmoh, a village in Kashmir, is a treasure trove of fossils from the Tethys sea. But these fossils are at a risk of getting lost. Quarrying is erasing this invaluable geological heritage.
  • The Khonmoh range is a stone’s throw away from the Zabarwan hills which can be seen from Srinagar.


Tethys Sea

  • The Tethys Ocean also called the Tethys Sea or the Neo-Tethys, was an ocean during much of the Mesozoic Era and early Cenozoic Era.
  • It was located between the ancient continents of Gondwana and Laurasia, before the opening of the Indian and Atlantic oceans during the Cretaceous Period.
  • It was preceded by the Paleotethys Ocean, which lasted between the Cambrian and the Early Triassic, while the Neotethys formed during the Late Triassic and lasted until the early Eocene (about 50 million years ago) when it completely closed.
  • A portion known as the Paratethys formed during the Late Jurassic, was isolated during the Oligocene (34 million years ago) and lasted up to the Pliocene (about 5 million years ago), when it largely dried out.
  • Many major seas and lakes of Europe and Western Asia, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea, and Lake Urmia, are thought to be remnants of the Paratethys.


Watch | How quarrying is destroying the fossil treasures at Khonmoh in Kashmir - The Hindu