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Fragments Of Pliosaur Found By Russian Scientists
September 29, 2014 18:05


A new species of pliosaur - the largest floating Jurassic reptile - was found on the territory of Ryazan oblast. The discovery was made by the scientists of the RAS and the members of the project group at the Museum of Paleontology named after Yu. Orlov (Moscow), as the head of the project group, candidate of biological sciences Aleksei Shmakov told to ITAR-TASS.

“The scientists have information on several species of the dinosaur. This finding is different from everything that has been found before in its size. Thus, we can speak not only about the opening of a new kind of pliosaur on the territory of modern Russia, we have found the largest species of the extinct animal”- Shmakov clarified. Pliosaurs reached 25 meters in length. According to the scientists, they dinosaur found by them lived in about Callovian century of Jurassic period - about 145 million years ago, and the animals of this species were not found in Russia before. They managed to bring 30 stones weighing 10 to 50 kg to the surface, about 40 bones are presumably preserved in them.

“Now the employees of the Paleontological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences have a difficult job of extracting the fragments of bones from the rock. It will take about a year, we may be able to collect a piece of the skeleton about two meters long and really make sure that the remains are a new species of the largest pliosaur” - Aleksei Shmakov added. The members of the paleontological group have been coming to Ryazan oblast for four year in a row.

The excavations are carried out along the banks of the Oka River, where the warm and shallow Moskovskoe sea was located tens of millions of years ago. The results of previous searches were the traces of invertebrates, such as the shells of mollusks and the shells of sea urchins.

The Moscow paleontologists are going to come back to Ryazan oblast in the next surveying season in order to obtain other fragments of the pliosaur’s skeleton. They do not exclude the possibility of finding the remains of other dinosaurs.

Pliosaurs were large marine dinosaurs that lived in the late Jurassic period. The animal moved in the water with the help of four narrow flapper-like fins and looked a lot like a crocodile. Pliosaurs ate big fish and other vertebrates, reptiles and even their counterparts. The remains of similar dinosaurs have been found in South America and in Europe at different times.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian science Ryazan oblast pliosaur   

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