Tusks found near Jhelum are 3 million years old, claims professor

Professor Muhammad Akhter of the Punjab university says fossils belong to Anancus, a pre-historic elephant


Babar Naveed February 22, 2016
This handout photograph taken on January 17, 2016 and released by the University of Punjab shows a stegodon tusk at the discovery site at Padri village in Jhelum district. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Researchers of the University of Punjab claim to have found three million-year-old fossilised tusks of pre-historic elephant “Anancus” last week from a village near Jhelum district in Punjab.

“The fossils have been found from Padri village near Dina and Qila Jogiya areas,” project head Professor Muhammad Akhter told The Express Tribune. “The elephant was found some 3.5 million years ago in the area.”

According to Akhter, his team could not find complete skeletons but the right and left tusks.

“They are eight feet long and eight inches in diameter,” he said, explaining the Anancus was ancestor of the modern-day elephant.

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The fossils have been shifted to the Jhelum campus of the University from the digging site, where they have been placed for public display.

The professor says the purpose of keeping the fossils on display was to educate the people.

In response to a question regarding the method used to find out the age of the fossils, Akhter said “these fossils have been found from rocks called Siwalics, which were earlier dated to be millions of years old.”

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Fossils of pre-historic crocodile’s teeth and jaws had also been discovered from the same area, Akhtar added.

“A fossil of the Bison family were also,” he claimed, adding the fossils of 18 ancestors of the elephant family have so far been discovered in the country.

Other members of the research team include Assistant Professors Dr Abdul Majid and Dr Muhammad Akber Khan.

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