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36-million-year-old whale fossil found

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  • A 36-Million-Year-Old Whale fossil was found in a Peruvian desert.
  • A complete skull of the Peruvian basilosaurus was discovered in the Ocucaje Desert.
  • The Ocucaje Desert is rich in fossils, providing scientists with 42 million years’ worth of evolutionary evidence.

LIMA: Paleontologists on Thursday unveiled the fossilized remains of an ancient whale that inhabited the seas 36 million years ago, found last year in a Peruvian desert.

“We have presented the new Peruvian basilosaurus, it is the complete skull of an archaic whale that lived 36 million years ago,” paleontologist Mario Urbina, head of the team that discovered the skeleton, told AFP.

Urbina said the basilosaurus was found at the end of 2021 in the Ocucaje Desert in the Ica department, about 350 kilometers (215 miles) south of Lima. The desolate landscape was a shallow sea millions of years ago, and its dunes have yielded large numbers of striking primitive sea mammal remains.

The “Ocucaje Predator,” as the researchers dubbed it, was about 17 meters (55 feet) long and used its massive, powerful teeth to feed on tuna, sharks and schools of sardines.

“This finding is very important because there are no other similar specimens discovered in the world,” said Urbina, a researcher at the National University of San Marcos, in Lima.

Team member Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi explained the basilosaurus differs from other known ancient whale species by its size and the development of its teeth, both of which indicate the animal was likely at the top of the food chain.

“This is an extraordinary find because of its great state of preservation,” he told AFP. “This animal was one of the largest predators of its time.”

“At that time the Peruvian sea was warm,” added Salas-Gismondi, who heads the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum in Lima. “Thanks to this type of fossil, we can reconstruct the history of the Peruvian sea.”

The first cetaceans, like the basilosaurus, evolved from land animals some 55 million years ago.

By the late Eocene period (between 56 million and 34 million years ago), cetaceans had fully adapted to marine life.

Whales had not yet evolved, and almost all cetaceans were marine macropredators, according to the research team.

The Ocucaje Desert is rich in fossils, the researchers said, providing scientists with 42 million years’ worth of evolutionary evidence.

Other fossils found there include four-legged dwarf whales, dolphins, sharks and other species from the Miocene period (between 23 million and five million years ago).

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Preparations for Shaheen Afridi’s wedding in full swing

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KARACHI: National team fast bowler Shaheen Afridi has reached Karachi along with his family for his marriage to legendary cricketer Shahid Afridi’s daughter, Ansha.

Shaheen is set to marry the daughter of Pakistan’s star player on Friday, February 3.

According to family sources, Shaheen Afridi and Ansha will sign their nikah nama — a marriage contract officiated by a cleric in Muslim weddings — now while the rukhsati (seeing off) will take place later.

Fans will be excited to know that Shaheen and Ansha’s marriage preparations are underway and the groom-to-be and his family have reached the port city. The pacer got engaged to Ansha two years ago.

The sources told Geo News that the Mehndi ceremony will be held tonight in the city of lights.

It is also worth mentioning that the wedding invitation for the ceremony is going viral on social media. However, no one from the two families has verified whether the card is real or fake.

In an earlier interview on the show “Aik Din Geo Kai Sath” on Geo News, the 21-year-old revealed that it was his wish to marry Afridi’s daughter. When the host, Sohail Waraich, asked Shaheen about his engagement and relationship with Shahid Afridi’s daughter.

The cricketer blushed and said, “It was my wish, and Alhumdulillah it is fulfilled now,” he shared.

During the interview, when Shaheen was asked whether Ansha feels jealous about his female fan following, Afridi said he is unsure about it.

“I am not sure, maybe she feels something like that,” the cricketer quipped.

Further, the host asked Shaheen about upsetting plenty of female fans by getting engaged at an early age.

At this, Shaheen said: “I found my heart and that’s enough for me.”

Wedding bells are also ringing for several other cricketers on Pakistan’s national side.

Then on January 20, Shan Masood got married in an intimate Nikah ceremony in Peshawar. Shan tied the knot with the love of his life Nische in Peshawar. Their reception will take place in Karachi on January 27.

Three days later, all-rounder Shadab Khan tied the knot with former cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq’s daughter in a private nikah ceremony.

Taking to Twitter last month, Khan announced his wedding to the daughter of the current head coach of the national team. Meanwhile, the cricketer also requested people to give space to him and his wife.

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Sham Idrees announces break in his marriage with Froggy

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YouTube’s famous couple Sham Idrees and Froggy aka Sehar are taking sometime away from each other in their relationship.

Sham, taking it to his Instagram, left his fans in a shock after announcing his separation with Froggy. He wrote: “I would like to announce that me and froggy are taking sometime away from each other in our relationship. Please don’t involve me in issues concerning froggy, rabil or any of the other family members. I appreciate some privacy during this difficult time.”

Sham Idrees announces break in his marriage with Froggy

Sham is a Canadian based YouTuber, who has a following of 1.4 million people on Instagram, is widely-known for his entertaining content. His videos often feature his wife Sehar along with him.

The couple tied the knot a few years ago and is parents to baby Sierra who is two-years old. The duo welcomed another daughter on September 28, 2022. They named her Shanaya Idrees.

After the birth of his first daughter, Sham Idrees also introduced his fans to his daughter Dua from his previous marriage.

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PSL schedule to be ‘announced soon’

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LAHORE: The schedule of the eighth edition of the much-awaited national T20 cricket event, Pakistan Super League (PSL), is likely to be announced on Friday, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.

The schedule of the eighth edition of the tournament has been finalised, however, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will hold final consultation with the PSL franchisers tomorrow (Thursday), the sources said.

According to the sources, the inaugural ceremony of the PSL will be staged in Multan as per the current schedule.

The sources added that the matches of the tournament would be played at four different venues. They also mentioned that the PSL will commence on February 13 and the final would be played on March 19.

PSL matches would be played in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Rawalpindi, the sources noted. They added that the matches at the four venues would be played simultaneously.

The sources also said that the strategy to allow the PCB to stage one exhibition match in Quetta has also been discussed. The exhibition matches would be played between Peshawar and Quetta, the sources added.

PSL 2023 Draft

The players’ draft for PSL 2023 was held in December last year in Karachi, with around 1,000 local and foreign players available to be picked by six franchises for 61 slots.

Five out of six PSL teams had retained eight players, while Peshawar Zalmi retained seven players last month when the retention and transfer windows were closed.

These teams completed a squad of 18 — which had three players each in the platinum, diamond, and gold categories, five in the silver category, two in emerging and up to two in supplementary categories.

Teams could have up to three foreign players in the first three categories — platinum, diamond, and gold — among them one overseas player was mandatory in platinum and diamond.

In a squad of 16, teams picked five overseas players, while in 18 they had six foreign players.

As many as 517 foreigners and 491 Pakistani players were available for selection.

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