Mount Shisha Pangma, rising 8,012 metres above sea level in the Himalayas was the last of the world's highest peaks above 8,000 metres to be conquered by man.
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Background: Mount Shisha Pangma, rising 8,012 metres above sea level in the Himalayas was the last of the world's highest peaks above 8,000 metres to be conquered by man.
A young Chinese mountaineering team scaled the summit of Mount Shisha Pangma in May, 1964.
The mountaineering expedition was accompanied by a scientific investigation team which made extensive observations of the geological, plaeontological, geomorphological, glacialogical features of the Shisha pangma on the northern and southeastern slopes and also determined the elevation of the main peak.
The fossil of a giant reptile was discovered in the vicinity of Tingri County in Tibet.
The vertebra of this monster vertebrate is 24 cms in diametre. One of the rib bones measures 230 cms in length.
Experts attach great importance to these discoveries and are showing keen interest in the wide assortment of fossils excavated from the slopes of Mount Shisha Pangma.
A careful study of the fossil samples is made by professor Li See-kwang, one of China's foremost geologists. This is Professor Li having a discussion on the natural history of Mount Shisha pangma with members of the scientific expedition.
The fossils are also being studied by Professor Yang Chung-chien, a paleontologist in vertebrates who believes that the giant reptile was highly adapted to living in the sea. From this it is presumed that the Shisha Pangma region was a sea bed 150 million years ago.
Assessment of the Shisha Pangma fossils is also made by Professor Yang Tsung-yi, a paleontologist. This is a collection of ancient marine creatures.
In the mean time, Professor Hsu Jen, and expert in Paleobotany is studying the fossilized leaves of two kinds of ever green oak (Quercus Semicarpifolia and Quercus Pannosa). It is Professor Hsu's opinion that Mount Shisha Pangma was covered by a dense forest 1 million 500 thousand years ago.
At the Institute of Geology, research work is going ahead to determine the absolute age of the fossils. Their investigation has led to the belief that Mount Shisha pangma is the youngest of the world's 14 highest peaks formed somewhere between 13-38 million years ago.
Specimens of the various animals found in the Shisha Pangma Region are being made at the Peking Museum of Natural Science.
The experts believe that the Shisha Pangma region was a sea bed 150 million years ago; one million 500 thousand years ago it was covered by forests and today it has become a world of the ice and snow.
A summery of the scientific findings on Mount Shisha Pangma is being prepared by Shih Ya-feng, glaciologist and head of the scientific expedition and Liu Tung-sheng, geologist and deputy head of the mountaineering team. It is their belief, as well as those of other experts, that the Shisha Pangma fossils are invaluable both from a paleontological point of view and also because they provide fresh clues about the ancient geography of this part of Tibet and how the Himalayan ranges were formed.