10,000-year-old fossils found in Ipoh limestone hill by caving enthusiasts

Sylvia Looi
Mammalian fossils have been found scattered in an unnamed cave at Simpang Pulai. — Pix courtesy of Leong Yie Meng

IPOH, Aug 20 — A total of 107 fossils dating back to ten thousand years have been uncovered in an unnamed limestone hill here recently.

The fossils were found by a team of caving enthusiasts calling themselves Kinta Valley Watch (KVW) during a recent expedition near Gua Naga Mas in Gunung Pua at Simpang Pulai here.

Palaeontologist and zooarcheologist Lim Tze Tshen, accompanied by KVW members, unearthed 30 mammalian fossils in two hours, including the molar tooth of wild cattle.

A well-preserved rhino tooth that was found a group of caving enthusiasts.

“Fossils document the existence of now-extinct species, showing that different organisms have lived in Kinta Valley during different periods of the place’s history.

“Without fossils, locals will not be able to witness the evidence of evolution,” said KVW spokesman Ching Boon Tat in a statement.

The fossils have been handed over to Perak Minerals and Geoscience Department for dating and valuation in hope that the unnamed cave where the fossils were uncovered will be gazetted under Kinta Valley Geopark.

The fossil is said to be from a wild boar with colouring and pattern differed from the common species.

In a preliminary evaluation, the fossils found are said to be wild boar, porcupines, deer, rhinoceros, wild cattle and monkey.

Ching noted that most caves in Kinta Valley have yet to be surveyed and inspected.

“There are insufficient studies on the caves, let alone fossil records.

The unnamed limestone hill near Simpang Pulai, where 107 fossils dating back to ten thousand years were discovered.

“The unsightly appearance of quarried hills in Ipoh have led to outcry by public who are concerned fossils in active quarry sites may be displaced,” he said.

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