SRINAGAR, Sep 6: The Department of Geology and Geophysics, Kashmir University, on August 31, during preliminary investigations came across an elephant fossil, believed to be at least 50,000 years old at Galandhar, Pampore. The fossil, a skull measures 5 feet x 4 feet with complete upper and lower jaws and a broken tusk 2 feet x 9 inches long measuring about 25 inches in girth at the proximal end and a vertebra.
The experts say it brings the Valley closer to the vertebrate fossil rich Shivalik hills in terms of ancient wildlife and climiate. This is not the first time that fossils of an elephant have been found in Kashmir. In 1931, the skeleton of a mammoth resembling elephant in a semi fossil form was excavated at Somber in Pampore and is preserved in Sri Pratap Museum. It includes full skull and bones that belong to an earlier period than the recently discovered fossil. Besides this at Wapzan, Bijbehara fossils comprising jaws of an elephant, believed to be at least one million year old were excavated.
These fossils point to the type of animal and vegetation before Kashmir was converted into Satisar lake, fifty thousand years ago. According to Mr Gulam Mohiuddin, Director Archeology, Archives and museums, karewas formation in Kashmir valley took place during glacial and interglacial eras in Valley. River jehlum was previously flowing through Banihal into chenab. Due to tectonic activities there was a blockadge in the mountains leading to a massive lake covering entire Valley. According to Mr Mohiuddin, the Valley remained under water for certain periods of history. Again tectonic activities followed leading to crack in the mountains at Khadanyar in Baramulla. The water receded in Valley and found a way out. The life existed even before this conversion, he added.
Source: Kashmir Sentinel
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