Journalist in Residence

Paleostan - or - Fossilstan -- the untold story of fossils from Pakistan

PI(s): Suhail Yusuf (Dawn group of news paper)
Start Date: 19-Jun-2014
End Date: 17-Sep-2014

Pakistan is the home of three most important mountain (HKH) ranges, exposed geological ( chaman) faults and only place on the planet where mantle and crust junction is exposed ( Kohistan arc).

Above all it is home of fossil beds of different eras and epochs which are exposed and ready to reveal thier treasures.

American, French, German and Pakistani scholars unearthed amazing fossils from different exposed strata of Pakistan.

The project is a series of articles (or a book) written in interesting and jargon free style about the fossil findings from Pakistan.

The project depicts discovery of ancient ( walking whale ) from Pakistan named Rhodocetus and Pakicetus. Both are considered very important missing link of whale evolution.

The other important finding from Pakistan is Balochitherium – or the beast of Balochistan is the largest ever land mammal.

In the geological time scale, Baluchitherium roamed Asia in Oligocene epoch or 30 millions years ago.

The skeleton suggested that the giant creature was five-meters tall and weighed 20 tonnes, almost as massive as the size of three large elephants!

The book will provide a window for the most important geo-paleo events like rise and fall of ammonites (index fossils), the rapid dispersion of mammals after the Indian and Asian plate collision, the rise of apes and primates like Sivapithecus – all happened in the region now called Pakistan.

Interestingly Pakistani rocks also recorded the ice ages, mass extinctions, geological faults and Paleocene – Eocene thermal Maximum (PETM).