A team of geologists at Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima University have confirmed that fossilized remains uncovered by local villagers a decade ago belong to a previously unknown species of ancient rhinoceros.
Working together with a Chinese paleontologist, the team concluded that the fossils belonged to a hornless, flat-skulled rhino that has been named Aceratherium porpani – after the man who donated the fossils to the university.
“The fossils, including a complete skull and two mandibles, were found at a sand quarry near the Moon River in Chalerm Phrakiat district of Nakhon. The fossils were then passed on to Porpan Vatchajitpan, a former Chulalongkorn University lecturer. The lecturer donated the fossils to the Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood & Mineral Resources (RIPM) at Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University in 2009,” said The Bangkok Post.
The specimen was also identified as having lived during the Late Miocene period, making it between 6 and 7.5 million years old.
Meanwhile, a very different study is underway in Singapore, revealing that the city’s working poor are struggling to make ends meet. In Singapore, “working poor” is the term used to describe someone who earns less than half of the average monthly income for a Singaporean (which currently stands at approximately $2400).
The study, conducted by the National University of Singapore’s social work department, found that about 66 percent of respondents on welfare said that they were able to find work. However, 85 percent said that the jobs available for government aid recipients were inadequate for supporting a family.
One researcher, in an interview with Channel NewsAsia, attributed this to “factors such as globalization and the widening income gap, which have led to stagnating wages for Singapore's poor.”
Experts have called for Singapore’s minimum wage to be increased.
Over in Cambodia, a different form of hardship is taking its toll. Severe flooding has claimed 18 lives in the country’s northwest. The National Committee for Disaster Management confirmed the death toll, adding that the water levels in the Mekong River are expected to keep rising for up to five more days.
“The flooding, caused by heavy rains and the opening of dams in Vietnam and Thailand, has affected seven provinces – Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Kratie, Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng – forcing more than 2,000 families to evacuate,” reported The Phnom Penh Post.
The Cambodian Red Cross has responded to the hardest-hit areas.