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Fossils from Sindh need urgent attention

May 19, 2013


Karachi: Besides rich archaeological and cultural heritage, Sindh owns a diversity of fossils and well exposed geological layers.

In a lecture at Alliance Francaise in Karachi, Dr Rafique Ahmed Lashari form University of Sindh shared his views on paleontological studies carried out in Lakhra, Ranikot and Jharak areas, supported by the French government.

In his lecture entitled ‘Microfacies of Lakhra formation,’ Lashari talked about the invertebrate fauna from Sindh within the context of continental collision. He collected 180 samples of invertebrate (microscopic) fossils which can be considered very rare.

Lashari also found fossil of fruit seed, leaf imprint and the bones of giraffe and rhino. He also unearthed a turtle’s fossil which is 65 million years old and is the first ever discovery of a turtle of this age in the subcontinent.

Lashari told the audience that further research on the vertebrate fossils will add more importance to the area.

‘It is possible that many more discoveries are waiting to be unearthed,’ he added.

However, the main field of Lashari is to study microfossils. His team has discovered and identified three unique species and Ranikothalia – a microfossil named after the Ranikot  area. Ranikothalia belongs to Foraminifera, which are unicellular marine organisms found in abundance. They can be found in rich varieties and size.

Lashari’s also emphasised upon the need for further research to determine the geological age of the Lakhra formation.

Dr Rafique Ahmed Lashari, is currently assistant professor at the Centre for Pure and Applied Geology. He worked on the joint Pak-French mission.

It is also interesting to mention that the French and Pakistani experts also strived to find the traces of the past 100,000 years of global warming also dubbed as Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). In geological terms this was the most extreme Earth surface condition which took place some 55.8 million years ago.