Map of Sorong (IST)
Map of Sorong (IST)

Jayapura, 14/4 (Jubi) – The discovery of a vertebrate fossil in South Sorong is important to open up opportunities for further research, said a research team from the Institute for Archaeology of Papua.

“It is incredible, so I think there is still a possibility of fossils to be traced continuously not only in South Sorong but also in other areas around the Bird’s Head region of Papua,” an anthropology researcher for the Environment Foundation of Papua, Gerry Wally, told on Monday (14/4).

The finding would provide a picture of the types of fauna existing in Papua in the past, why they went extinct and other information about animal evolution.

Previously, the head of the Institute of Archaeology in Papua, Irvan Mahmud said the vertebrate fossil found last year was around 36 million years old with the length of roughly one meter.
“The fossil is found in South Sorong and currently being studied in the laboratory. Actually  it should have been  studied first before opening to the public since there are still differences in opinions among us,” Mahmud explained.

The fossil was found on top of a layer of post-tertiary, indicating that the fossil is younger than the layers.

This study will definitely take time because researchers need more specimens for further studying.

Scientists believe that the animal had existed before humans inhabited Papua.
“The size is about one meter. Some said it is a buffalo. Overall, people come with their own interpretations. Therefore, we need to communicate with fauna experts,” he said. (Jubi / Albert/ Tina)