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Further digging needed for fossil location

Susan Symmonds, 53, from Stockton, is prepared to work tooth and nail to track down the treasure that was dispatched to the Natural History Museum in London by the borough’s librarian and curator, along with a letter, describing the location as “a quarry some four miles [six kilometres) north-west of Stockton”.

{{quote-A:R-W:300-I:2-Q:"The Stockton hippo is the most northerly record ever. There are no fossil records of hippos from similar latitudes in Scandinavia and further east …”-WHO:Professor Danielle Schreve, Centre for Quarternary Science, Royal Holloway, University of London}}Symmond’s interest in the hippo affair was piqued when she heard the light-hearted story of the missing hippo tooth while listening to a podcast featuring academic Professor Danielle Schreve, of the Centre for Quarternary Science, Royal Holloway, University of London.

“Professor Schreve has been so helpful and has contacted lots of people to try to find the whereabouts of the tooth, without any luck,” said Susan in an interview with Gazette Live.

“However, she also said it would be very unusual for there to be just a tooth and no other remains, and that she and retired professor Jim Rose would be interested in doing another dig!”

Symmonds is ready to literally dig deep for any further fossil evidence of the hippo in a bid to put Stockton on the world map.

“I’m passionate about Stockton. I’ve lived here for nearly 50 years and worked here for more than 30 years. I’m not giving up, no way!” Symmonds said.

“The Stockton hippo is the most northerly record ever. There are no fossil records of hippos from similar latitudes in Scandinavia and further east,” Professor Danielle Schreve was quoted as saying.

But Symmonds and the good professors are in a quandary over the exact location of the quarry. Before digging deep, they need to delve into literature and find the precise location.

Symmonds has narrowed the search to the village Thorpe Thewles, and historical maps indicate that there were three gravel pits in the vicinity.

She needs more than a hand, though, to resolve the historical puzzle, dating back 125,000 years when hippos are deemed to have also roamed the area.

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