In the mountains of Dagestan have found a fossilized ichthyosaur


The remains of the ichthyosaur — reptiles, more than 100 million years ago lived in an ancient sea, Tethys. Dug them this spring in the Akushinsky district of Dagestan, a paleontologist-the fan Omar Hapilov.

Omar calls himself the beekeeper hermit. Since childhood, he goes through the mountains and looking for traces of the past. He has many friends, paleontologists coming to Dagestan from all over Russia at the excavations. Their striking intuition Omar. He knows where to look for traces of marine life. Yeah, the Caucasus mountains 20-30 million years splashed a large Tethys sea. Then began a planetary cataclysm and the Arabian plate Eurasian went on. As a result, by the way, about 1.8 million years ago from the world ocean was cut off the Caspian sea.

Looking at these plates, flat as a table, with a different angle, we can assume how it all happened – in the open sea and the heaving mountains. Scientists say that the peak of seismic activity has been here about two million years ago.

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In these places, and found another, the most valuable lobster Papisova. Marine reptiles-ichthyosaurs were buried in the Cretaceous deposits of the so-called almskog layer. As reported by the Dagestani newspaper “Novoe Delo”, it was in the Akushinsky district, on the outskirts of the village of Akusha, and farm Curcuma, near the brook, where there was a mudslide and the exposed part of the rock.

It looks like a godsend now, after she was treated for safekeeping. On the Internet there were comments – not fake. Very good condition! Indeed, all the bones except the tail. The animal is well preserved head, 24 vertebrae, sternum and fore flippers. It turned out that the skeleton of a young individual, the length of which was five meters. According to the researchers, this is the first ichthyosaur discovered in Russia in such almost perfect condition.

The news spread through Dagestan. To Omar hurried journalists. Here is what he said to Alina Magomedova about the history: “last year I dug up the remains of ancient fish. This finding did not give me rest. I was sure I’ll find something else very valuable from the point of view of paleontology. This year spring during work at the excavation in the area of Curcuma found one large vertebra. I, though a layman, knew immediately that the bone of an ichthyosaur,” says Omar.

Director of the Institute of Geology of the Dagestan scientific center of RAS Vasily Cherkashin says: “This is the remains of the ichthyosaur Platypterygius species. Age almskog layer, in the Cretaceous deposits which they found, about 100 million years. In a world like this finds very little. Skeletons of ichthyosaurs are stored in the palaeontological museums in Germany and the UK.”

There were excavations. Omar had several assistants. They diligently helped to extract the skeleton from the rock. “The bones go in a slope almost perpendicular. But we still do not know what is the front part of the skeleton, with the ribs of the spine, the girdle of the forelimbs and skull. The nearby stream washed away the lower part of the skeleton – describes the work of one of the enthusiasts who helped Omar. – Rock – mudstone, peremejatayasa with Sandstone. The outside is weathered, friable. Inside difficult to pick and scrap”.

Who are the ichthyosaurs?

That’s a defunct unit large (24 meters long) marine reptile, shaped like fish and dolphins. Teeth, like sharks, have changed repeatedly in the course of life. A typical ichthyosaurs had very large eyes, protected by bony ring. The skin is devoid of scales and possibly covered with mucus. Moving these rubadiri in the water at high speed. They hunted at night. Ate mostly clams, squid, fish and small reptiles.

There is an assumption that rubadiri were viviparous, so as to produce the eggs in the ocean, they do not can. According to one version, the-lizard egg-laying was in utero. The shell of the egg was discovered inside his mother’s womb, and then the babies were born.

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