The Semantan Formation which is Middle to Upper Triassic age, comprises a rapidly alternating sequence of carbonaceous shale, siltstone and rhyolite tuff with a few lenses of chert, conglomerate and recrystallised limestone. The shale and tuff make up the bulk of the sequence. Jaafar Ahmad (1976) was introduced the formation name of the rock sequence in Karak-Temerloh area, but the similar sequence (in term of lithology, paleontology and structural pattern) found in the other areas were given different names. After an extensive study, the following formations or part of them, may be include in the Semantan Formation; Raub Series (Scrivenor 1911); Calcareous Formation (Richardson 1939); Calcareous Series (Richardson 1947); Younger arenaceous Series (Alexander 1956); Raub Group (Alexander 1959); Jengka Pass Formation (Ichikawa et al. 1966); Kerdau Formation (Burton 1973a); part of Jelai Formation (Burton 1973a); Gemas Formation (Lum 1977); Jurong Formation (Burton 1973a); Pahang Volcanic Series (Hutchison 1973c).
Formasi Semantan merupakan jujukan batuan sedimen yang berusia Trias Tengah - Akhir di Jalur Tengah Semenanjung Malaysia. Jujukan ini terdiri daripada selang lapis batuan syal berkarbon, batu lodak, dan batu pasir yang kebanyakannya bertuf, serta terdapat kekanta konglomerat, batu kapur dan rijang dalam selang lapis ini. Syal adalah unit yang paling dominan dalam formasi ini. Jaafar Ahmad (1976) menamakan jujukan ini untuk kawasan Karak - Temerloh, tetapi jujukan yang serupa (dari segi litologi, paleontologi dan gaya struktur) juga ditemui di kawasan lain, tetapi dipanggil dengan nama lain. Dari hasil kajian menyeluruh yang telah dijalankan, didapati nama-nama unit batuan berikut atau sebahagian daripadanya mungkin merupakan penamaan yang serupa untuk Formasi Semantan, iaitu Siri Raub (Scrivenor 1911), Formasi Berkapur (Richardson 1939), Siri Berkapur (Richardson 1947), Siri Arenit Muda (Alexander 1958), sebahagian Kumpulan Raub (Alexander 1959), Formasi Jengka Pass (Ichikawa et al. 1966), Formasi Kerdau (Burton 1973a), sebahagian Formasi Jelai (Burton 1973a), Formasi Gemas (Lum 1977), Formasi Jurong (Burton 1973a) dan Siri Volkano Pahang (Hutchison 1973).
A single sample from the logged section at eastern side of Gua Panjang limestone hill, southwest of Kampung Kubang
Rasa Village, Merapoh, has yielded 5 very important conodont species. They are Hindeodus parvus erectus, Hindeodus
parvus parvus, Hindeodus latidentatus latidentatus, Hindeodus latidentatus praeparvus, Hindeodus postparvus, Hindeodus
eurypge and Isarcicella staeschi. These Early Triassic conodonts were obtained in a bioclastic dolostone sample, located
2.5 m above bioclastic grainstone which yielded Late Permian foraminifera. The conodonts found were given Conodont
Alteration Index (CAI) scale of 5, consistent with the heating of Main Range granitoid during Indosinian Orogeny.
Limestone harbouring basal Triassic conodonts in Gua Panjang is interpreted to be deposited in an open shallow marine
The Kodiang Formation which outcrops in Kodiang and Alor Setar areas has been well studied and documented. Various geological aspects of the limestone formation have been reported in detail including its stratigraphy, sequence startigraphy, sedimentology and paleontology. Diagenetic aspect of this rock formation, however, had not been specifically discussed before. The Kodiang limestone has undergone a complicated diagenetic history which started immediately after the sediments were laid down on the sea bed. Various diagenetic products have been identified including, early marine cement, meteoric cement, and deeper subsurface cement. The diagenetic features identified are as follows; Fibrous calcite cement, sparry and poikilotopic calcites, calcite overgrowth, dolomite, silica cements and evaporites. Close examination at outcrops shows that dolomite occurs at several levels in the sequence. Their systematic occurrences can be correlated across the area. Petrographic studies show that dolomite occurs in several modes as stratified dolomite and as non-stratified dolomite. The two dolomite groups are attributed to two phases of dolomitizations. The stratified dolomites are interpreted to have been formed early in the limestone diagenetic history. The non-stratified dolomite type is, however, attributed to dolomitization during deep burial under the control of deeper subsurface physico-chemical conditions.
Batu Kapur Kodiang yang tersingkap di Kodiang dan Alor Setar telah banyak dikaji dan didokumentasikan. Berbagai aspek geologi formasi batu kapur ini telah dilaporkan termasuk stratigrafi, startigrafi jujukan, sedimentologi dan paleontologi. Walau bagaimanapun aspek diagenesis formasi batuan ini tidak pernah dibincangkan secara khusus. Batu kapur Kodiang ini telah melalui sejarah diagenesis yang rumit yang bermula sebaik saja sedimen dimendapkan di atas permukaan dasar laut. Berbagai hasil diagenesis telah dikenal pasti termasuk penyimenan samudera awal, penyimenan meterorik dan penyimenan di bawah permukaan yang lebih dalam. Secara asas fitur-fitur yang dikenalpasti adalah seperti berikut; simen kalsit berserat, kalsit spar dan poikilotopik, tumbuhlampau kalsit, dolomit, simen silika dan evaporit. Pemeriksaan rapi pada singkapan menunjukkan dolomit hadir pada beberapa aras di dalam jujukan. Kehadirannya secara bersistematik boleh dikorelasikan pada setiap singkapan. Kajian petrografi menunjukkan dolomit wujud dalam berbagai mod yang boleh diklaskan sebagai dolomit berstrata dan dolomit tidak berstrata. Dua klas ini boleh dikaitkan dengan dua fasa pendolomitan. Dolomit berstrata ditafsirkan telah terbentuk awal di dalam sejarah diagenesis batu kapur. Dolomit tidak berstrata pula dikaitkan dengan pendolomitan semasa timbusan dalam di bawah keadaan fiziko-kimia bawah permukaan.
In this review, we describe some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research and provide a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins-of-life studies. We outline these issues and developments to guide researchers and students from all fields. With respect to philosophy, we provide brief summaries of debates with respect to (1) definitions (or theories) of life, what life is and how research should be conducted in the absence of an accepted theory of life, (2) the distinctions between synthetic, historical, and universal projects in origins-of-life studies, issues with strategies for inferring the origins of life, such as (3) the nature of the first living entities (the "bottom up" approach) and (4) how to infer the nature of the last universal common ancestor (the "top down" approach), and (5) the status of origins of life as a science. Each of these debates influences the others. Although there are clusters of researchers that agree on some answers to these issues, each of these debates is still open. With respect to history, we outline several independent paths that have led to some of the approaches now prevalent in origins-of-life studies. These include one path from early views of life through the scientific revolutions brought about by Linnaeus (von Linn.), Wöhler, Miller, and others. In this approach, new theories, tools, and evidence guide new thoughts about the nature of life and its origin. We also describe another family of paths motivated by a" circularity" approach to life, which is guided by such thinkers as Maturana & Varela, Gánti, Rosen, and others. These views echo ideas developed by Kant and Aristotle, though they do so using modern science in ways that produce exciting avenues of investigation. By exploring the history of these ideas, we can see how many of the issues that currently interest us have been guided by the contexts in which the ideas were developed. The disciplinary backgrounds of each of these scholars has influenced the questions they sought to answer, the experiments they envisioned, and the kinds of data they collected. We conclude by encouraging scientists and scholars in the humanities and social sciences to explore ways in which they can interact to provide a deeper understanding of the conceptual assumptions, structure, and history of origins-of-life research. This may be useful to help frame future research agendas and bring awareness to the multifaceted issues facing this challenging scientific question.
Nine isolated fossil Pongo teeth from two cave sites in Peninsular Malaysia are reported. These are the first fossil Pongo specimens recorded in Peninsular Malaysia and represent significant southward extensions of the ancient Southeast Asian continental range of fossil Pongo during two key periods of the Quaternary. These new records from Peninsular Malaysia show that ancestral Pongo successfully passed the major biogeographical divide between mainland continental Southeast Asia and the Sunda subregion before 500 ka (thousand years ago). If the presence of Pongo remains in fossil assemblages indicates prevailing forest habitat, then the persistence of Pongo at Batu Caves until 60 ka implies that during the Last Glacial Phase sufficient forest cover persisted in the west coast plain of what is now Peninsular Malaysia at least ten millennia after a presumed corridor of desiccation had extended to central and east Java. Ultimately, environmental conditions of the peninsula during the Last Glacial Maximum evidently became inhospitable for Pongo, causing local extinction. Following post-glacial climatic amelioration and reforestation, a renewed sea barrier prevented re-colonization from the rainforest refugium in Sumatra, accounting for the present day absence of Pongo in apparently hospitable lowland evergreen rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia. The new teeth provide further evidence that Pongo did not undergo a consistent trend toward dental size reduction over time.
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the 'human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the 'Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an 'intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest.