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Remnants of extinct 150 million years-old reptile found in north Russia

September 14, 2014, 12:20 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG
The tourists who are members of the Wild North fishing club discovered the mesosaur fossil during their rafting down the Ruta-Yu River on the Yamal Peninsul
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© Oleg Yushkov

YEKATERINBURG, September 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Tourists from the Urals who were on a rafting tour in north Russia have found the remnants of a mesosaur, an extinct aquatic reptile that had lived about 150 million years ago, the local fishing club chairman said on Sunday.

The tourists who are members of the Wild North fishing club discovered the mesosaur fossil during their rafting down the Ruta-Yu River on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic, Club Chairman Yevgeny Svitov said.

“The boat of our group member Oleg Yushkov bumped against something. It was not very deep there and he could discern a stone looking like the head of a prehistoric animal,” Svitov said.

“He made a photo of the discovery and showed it to us. We were at first skeptical about his find, saying there could not be any mesosaurs on Yamal,” the fishing club chairman said.

“However, Yushkov sent his photos to Moscow scientists who confirmed that this is the fossil of a mesosaur who had lived about 150 million years ago,” the fishing club chairman said.

“However, a research has to be carried out to establish the exact age of the remnants. We can’t take away the find without special permission. We hope that we’ll get it before the river is covered with ice,” he said.

The fishing club is currently in talks with the Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Science on retrieving the mesosaur remnants from the water, he said.

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