Lingling-O, Ancient Tabon Man jade jewelry

Lingling-O, Ancient Tabon Man jade jewelry

Biyernes, Disyembre 2, 2011

FORMATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO AND ITS FLORA & FAUNA

Carboniferous/Permian (PALEZEOIC ERA)-Age of Coral Fossil; Genus Gshelia has been found in the Philippines.

Jurassic (MEOZOIC ERA)- fossil of first mammals (armoured fish with outer jawbones), insects and reptiles found in the Philippines; fossil records in Mindoro yielded 25 genera of ammonites (related to the genera of bivalves and belembites [related to fish and octopi]).

Cretaceous (MESOZOIC ERA)- Paleocene forests have diversified into lowland, lower montane, swamp, mangrove, and beach forests. The dominant plants were dipterocarps, nipa palms, Calophyllum (plomaria), screw pine (Pandanus), nito (climbing fern), and fishtail palm (Caryota).

Volcanic and opbiotic terraces of Bicol, Leyte, and Eastern Mindanao are formed from the subduction and rotating Philipine Sea Plate beneath the Indian-Australian Plate (oldest components of the Archipelago).

Paleocene (TERTIARY ERA)- East to West spreading of the Western Philippine Sea Floor. The Philippine Belt moved away from mainland China towards the Pacific Ocean, Borneo in the Indonesian archipelago moves eastward.  Generally of great tectonic activity, Major Philippine islands have began their slow evolution towards their current state during this era.

Pacific plate drifted in a counter clockwise and northwesterly direction. The movement set the same motion for the adjoining Philippine Sea Plate. Proto-Philippine Island Arc began transport along the edge of the Philippine Sea Plate.

Eocene (TERTIARY ERA)- Central Cordillera and other western volcanic islands began to form what is now known as the western seascape of the Philippines. Generally of great tectonic activity, Major Philippine islands began their slow evolution towards their current state during this era.

Micro-continental terranes (Northern Palawan, Mindoo and Zamboanga) also rimmed the margins of Southeastern Eurasia.

The Philippine Mobile Belt broke off from the equatorial arc system and began its transport along the leading western edge of the Philippine Plate.

The Philippines is divided among 3 separate island arcs: Luzon Arc, Halmahera Arc and the Cordillera & Sangihe Arcs.

Zambales Ranges attached itself to Luzon; formation of Celebes Sea Basin south of Zamboanga due to seafloor spreading. Volcanic terranes of Luizon, Visayas, and Central Mindanao were built from the magnetic activity along the edge of the Philippine Sea.


The Field Museum commissioned a color reconstruction of what Bubalus cebuensis probably looked like. This drawing shows the extinct dwarf water buffalo in proportion to the tamaraw (a dwarf water buffalo that lives on the Philippine island of Mindoro); a full-sized water buffalo; and a human being. B. cebuensis, which once lived on the Philippine island of Cebu, shrunk due to "island dwarfing," whereby some large mammals confined to an island shrink over time in response to evolutionary factors, such as a limited food supply and a lack of predators. (Illustration by Velizar Simeonovski, Courtesy of The Field Museum) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084321.htm
Sargassum cristaefolium C. Agardh
Living fossil glypheid
Data Deficient (IUCN)


The Living Fossil Glypheid is a walking animal that moves quickly and climbs by holding firmly on bushy organisms. When alive, this animal has luminous translucid orange coloration and an intense metallic-green reflection in its eyestalk that disappears rapidly after death. It measures between 115 to 123 millimeters.

This glypheid crustacean belongs to a group of animals which appeared during the Jurassic period, and had seemingly disappeared at the start of Eocene period. Contrary to the general hearsay, the said group of animals had not been extinct for the last sixty million years but is still represented in present-day fauna.

The Neoglyphea inopinata is the only living crustacean fossil in the Philippines. It can only be found along ‘deep channel’ about 180 to 200 meters deep off Lubang Island, Occidental Mindoro. The biology and habits of this rare animal are not yet known because of its very deep location. It is possible that there are still more of this species in its very restricted range of habitat thus further study is still needed.

This Jurassic species was trawled off Lubang Island. The collection of this particular glypheid specimen was prompted by the discovery of the very first specimen by the American steamship Albatross (the first vessel specially built for oceanographic purposes) off Lubang Island on July 17, 1908. The first glypheid specimen was set aside unidentified until 67 years later when the unclassifiable form was presented to Michèle de Saint Laurent who was then studying Thalassinids at the National Museum of Natural History and to Jacques Forest of Musèum National d‘Histoire Naturelle. On June 9, 1975, 67 years after this specimen was collected by the Albatross, Profesor P. P. Grasse presented to the Academie des Sciences their preliminary description of the existing glypheid, to which they have attributed the name Neoglyphea inopinata.

An expedition (the MUSORSTOM) was set in the Philippines in search for the new “living fossil” on board the Vauban, an oceanographic vessel, and set sail to Manila in March 1976. The MUSORSTOM trawled at the exact location point where the first glypheid was collected. Using a beam trawl, 9 samples of Neoglyphea inopinata (7 males and 2 juvenile), were collected and all were fixed for histological study.


Swallowtail Butterfly; Paru-paro 
Endangered (IUCN)


The swallowtail butterfly is described in two forms and is separable in two groups by the tinge of bluish patch in spaces 4,5,6 on the hindwing above. The blue patched group is predominant in the spring form, while the green patched ones are abundant in the summer form. The female can be distinguished from the male by their more developed red spots and longer tails.

This swift flying butterfly which belongs to Family Papilionidae is endemic to Northern Luzon particularly the Mountain Province. The Papilio chikae is the most colorful and the most sought after by butterfly collectors and hobbyists alike. Hence, it is the most expensive butterfly in the Philippines. Aside from its beauty, the difficulty in collecting this species adds to its rarity. This particular species is usually found in the mountain peaks and ridges of Baguio City and Bontoc areas. It occurs almost all year round with short recesses from November to January. The spring form occurs from the end of January to April while the summer form occurs from the middle of April to November. This butterfly can be bred in captivity provided that the food source for both the young and adult is available.

The swallowtail butterfly can be captured by the use of a butterfly net. Collected butterflies are pressed at the thorax region and placed in paper triangles to avoid damage to the wings during transport. Butterflies are preserved by spreading its wings on mounting board and air dried or placed in artificial drier for about one week. They are fixed by pins and stored in butterfly boxes with granulated PDB (Paradichlorobenzene) or Napthalene to avoid insect pests from damaging the specimens.


Glory of the Sea 


The Glory of the Sea or Conus gloriamaris is venomous having a specialized radula system which is used for spearing intended prey with a poisoned barb. Its radular tooth is characterized by a serrated shaft and a prominent basal barb. It prefers to hunt other mollusks. Its bite is very dangerous to man thus caution is advised when dealing with living specimens.

This cone shell is moderately rare but widely distributed through the western Pacific. It is “moderately rare” because although widely distributed, populations appear to be very local and of limited size. Once a colony is depleted, collectors must move to another colony if one can be found. At present, most specimens are found in the Philippines, Solomons and in New Guinea. Here in the Philippines, it is found in Bohol, Cebu, Corregidor and Negros. It inhabits deep water.

For such a rare and famous shell, it is distinctly ugly having subdued patterns and covered with heavy patternless growth marks over the body whorl. Its lip is chipped and heavily filed, and there are often bad and unhealed breaks on the body whorl and later whorls of the spire.

This shell was first described in 1977 and was known from only a couple of dozen specimens for the next hundred years – thus considered very rare. In addition, false tales and high auction prices made this shell famous. In 1856, it was erroneously published that the great Danish cone collector Chris Hwars had in 1792 purchased one at an auction and immediately crushed it underfoot to make the one he already possessed all the more valuable. A second false tale was published in connection with the discovery of 2 specimens in Bohol, Philippines by Hugh Cuming in 1837. A few years later it was reported that an immense earthquake had swallowed up the living gonads of this new extinct shell, which added to the desirability and sale price of the Glory of the Sea. As late as 1962 a specimen was sold for $2,000 but the use of scuba gear and the discovery of several hundred specimens in British Solomon Islands within the last few years has dethroned this queen of shells to the status of “moderately common”.

Since this shell inhabits deep water, it can be collected with the use of dredge, trawl and tow-nets. Scuba diving is also one way of collecting the Glory of the Sea cones.


Stegodon luzonensis
Fossilized molar




The fossil is a molar of Stegodon. The specimen is almost a complete right upper first molar having 7 ridges. The ridge was purposely cut into halves to study its core. The size of the molar is 16.74 cm. x 6.63 cm. x 8.51 cm. and has a weight of 1 kilogram.

Stegodon belongs to Family Stegodontidae of Order Proboscidae, where the elephant family also belong. The most distinguishing external feature of this order is the elongated, flexible and muscular trunk or proboscis (a great elongation of the nose). Stegodon had a larger skull and lower-crowned teeth than present-day elephants.

Mr. Sylvio M. Lopez, a paleontologist in the National Museum, collected the molar. It was found in a Middle Pleistocene tuffaceous sediments called Awidon Mesa Formation near the boundaries of Solana, Cagayan and Rizal, Kalinga Apayao in August 1973

Stegodon luzonensis
Fossilized molar




The fossil is a molar of Stegodon. The specimen is almost a complete right upper first molar having 7 ridges. The ridge was purposely cut into halves to study its core. The size of the molar is 16.74 cm. x 6.63 cm. x 8.51 cm. and has a weight of 1 kilogram.

Stegodon belongs to Family Stegodontidae of Order Proboscidae, where the elephant family also belong. The most distinguishing external feature of this order is the elongated, flexible and muscular trunk or proboscis (a great elongation of the nose). Stegodon had a larger skull and lower-crowned teeth than present-day elephants.

Mr. Sylvio M. Lopez, a paleontologist in the National Museum, collected the molar. It was found in a Middle Pleistocene tuffaceous sediments called Awidon Mesa Formation near the boundaries of Solana
Elephas sp.
Fossilized molar




The triangular shaped specimen is a fossilized molar of an Elephas. It is an elephant belonging to Family Elephantidae. The fossilized molar has 13 lamellae forming a complete molar, measuring 24.3 cm. x 6.53 cm. x 13.71 cm. x 2.67 cm. and weighs about 1.8 kilograms.

This fossil is believed to be of Middle Pleistocene age or approximately 750,000 years old. It was collected by Dr. L. Jocano in 1965 on a gravelly slope in Sitio Bitoguan, Brgy. Jelicuon, Cabatuan, Iloilo. The Pleistocene rock where it was recovered consists of sandstone and conglomerate interbeds. Geologist called this Cabatuan Formation after the name of the town where these sediments are beautifully exposed.
The discovery of elephant fossils in the country is very important because it indicates that land bridge once existed between the Philippines and its neighboring country. These land bridges provided an avenue to which this large animal reached the Philippines. , Cagayan and Rizal, Kalinga Apayao in August 1973. 

Fossilized shells




Ammonite is a fossil shell of a large extinct group of mollusks related to the living chambered Nautilus. They are among a suite collected by the National Museum staff in April 1948 at Tignoan creek, Mansalay, a town in Mindoro Island. They are included as one of the oldest rock-dated fossils in the Philippine archipelago. It ranges according to the result obtain from both field and laboratory work to Middle Jurassic age, 160-175 million years old.

The first evidence of Mesozoic Era in the Philippines was the discovery of Ammonites in 1940 by Hollister of the National Development Company Petroleum Survey (Corby et.al.) from exposures south of Mansalay bay near Colasi Pt. in southeastern Mindoro. The ammonite-bearing formation is designated as the Mansalay Formation, name after a district of Mansalay where it was first encountered.

Ammonite is the most important and interesting fossil not only because it is an index fossils recognized in the Philippines but it could be use to elucidate past geographic relationship between the Philippines and other area. Whether the Philippines was part of the mainland Asia or not, one thing is obvious, that part of the archipelago was certainly under the sea (Pacific Ocean) at the time of formation.

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