The Japan Times, January 11, 1999
5-million-year-old fossils double Nepal's elusive trove
KATMANDU (AP) Researchers have found more than 1,500 pieces of fossils dating back 5 million years in Nepal, a team member said Saturday.
Hippopotamus fossils were found on the banks of Surai Khola in Dang Valley, said Nina Jablonski, a paleontologist from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Calif.
The fossil deposit site is 320 km west of Katmandu, the Nepalese capital.
"We have added 1,500 new fossils found in various deposits around Nepal and even Katmandu Valley during the past five months, doubling Nepal's hold of fossils," Jablonski said.
She said these deposits, on the flatlands just south of the Siwalik Range in the Himalayas, extend from Pakistan in the west to Bhutan in the east.
Fossil deposits in Nepal are in small pockets and difficult to locate, she said.
Jablonski said some Nepalese farmers believe that finding these bones is a bad omen. They crush them and hold prayers to drive the demons away.
There has been little research done on fossils in Nepal. It has been just 20 years since scientists began excavating for fossils.