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PU researcher finds 3.3m years old rare elephant tusk

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By M Asad Saleem

LAHORE: (Tuesday, January 3, 2017): Punjab University Department of Zoology’s PhD student Ghayyour Abbas has made a marvelous discovery of a rare 3.3 million-year-old elephant tusk fossil from the Village Tatrot in Sohawa Tehsil of District Jhelum. In this regard, Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir visited Jhelum Campus on Tuesday. Administrator Jhelum Campus Muhammad Akram Choudhary, Department of Zoology’s Prof Dr Muhammad Akhter and others were present on the occasion. Briefing about the rare discovery, Prof Dr Muhammad Akhtar said that initial scientific investigations have revealed that the tusk fossil perhaps belongs to the extinct Anancus genus of elephants, who roamed in the primitive forest habitat of Jhelum some 3.5 million years ago and measures approximately 6 feet. He said that the recovered fossil specimen had been transferred to the PU Jhelum Campus on the New Year 2017 evening under his and Dr Muhammad Akbar’s supervision, who were the research supervisors. Researcher Ghayyour Abbas said that the discovery would help investigate regarding environment of the area at that time. He said the discovery of rare fossils of different animals from the area could also help unearth relationship among the animals of different kind. PU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Zafar Mueen Nasir extended much appreciation to the PU researcher and lauded his extra-ordinary efforts. He directed the Department of Zoology to submit a PC-1 to HEC Islamabad to establish a Siwalik Fossils Display Museum at Jhelum Sub-campus. Siwalik Mountain geological formation range in Jhelum, Chakwal and Miawali districts is famous for rare elephant fossils as the geological range is regarded as the paradise of elephant fossils all over the world. The vice chancellor also paid visit to various sections of the campus and asked the officials concerned to start new academic programs according to market demand of the surrounding areas.

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