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Fossil Alert!

Fossil Alert!

Fossil of elephant calf jaw was discovered from the Siwalik Ranges of Badshahibagh, U. P.

A Fossil of jaws of young Elephant calf was discovered in the Badshahibagh area of Shiwalik FD for the first time ever, during field inspection of Camera trap survey by a team of Forest and WWF- India. Mr. VK Jain, Conservator of Forest took the true specimen to Wadia Institute Himalayan Geology, Dehradun where experts have confirmed that to be at least 50 lakh years ( 5-8 million years old). The Fossil of the jaws of Elephant calf belongs to the Miocene era when Elephants had very long tusks more than 10feet feet long.

 

Fossil Alert!

 

The well-preserved fossil of an elephant calf jaw was found from the Siwalik sediments exposed in the vicinity of BadshahiBagh, U.P. The discovery was made by Mr. V. K. Jain, Chief Conservator of Forest, Saharanpur Circle, and Dr. I. P. Bopanna, landscape co-ordinator, WWF, India, accompanied by Devvrat Panwar, Senior Programme Officer and others.

 

Fossil Alert!

 

Fossil Alert!

 

The fossil is a moderately preserved third lower molar of an elephant calf. The specimen shows 9 well-developed ridges on its surface view, with the length of the molar being nearly 24 cms. The enamel of the molar is very thick. This is the first report of a fossil elephant in this region. The sample was shown to Dr. R. K. Sehgal, Scientist at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Dehradun, and the expert opinion of Dr. A. C. Nanda, a retired scientist of the same Institute was also taken, who has extensively worked on fossils elephants from the Siwalik Group.

 

Fossil Alert!

 

Fossil Alert!

 

The present fossil specimen is from the DhokPathan formation of the Siwalik. The sandstone embedded on the fossil is medium grained and salt and pepper in nature. This type of lithology is characteristic of the Middle Siwalik. The age of the fossil specimen may range from 5 to 8 million years. This fossil specimen was also compared with the fossil specimens displayed in the Museum of Wadia Institute of Himalayan geology Dehradun. Fossils of Stegodon are well known from several other localities of the Siwalik Group such as Kala Amb; Saketi (H.P.); Jammu foothills and in the vicinity of Chandigarh. The stegodon is also known from the foothills of Nepal and Pakistan. The presence of the Stegodon shows the existence of dense forests during that time and the area must have lots of river channels. Other fossils that existed with stegodon were those of giraffes, horses, and hippopotamus.

About the Author /

Sanjay Kumar is a serving bureaucrat and a Wildlife enthusiast. He has been instrumental in pioneering efforts in the arena of Wetland conservation and declaration of Uttar Pradesh's first Blackbuck conservation reserve in Prayagraj. He has 7 books on nature and birds to his credit, besides contributing articles and photographs to various magazines. He is currently posted as Divisional Commissioner Saharanpur.

Comment(1)

  • Rajeev Mehta

    August 12, 2020

    Excellent work is being done by the forest department UP, with Mr SanJay Kumar IAS leading from the front..effort put in haiderpur wetland and the Siwalik in Saharanpur will be a landmark achieved in times to come..so proud of such officers.

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