YEKATERINBURG , September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The fossils of a prehistoric animal found in the Ruta-U river in the Yamal autonomous region in northern Siberia are more than a hundred million years old, Yevgeny Svitov, director of a fishermen's club "The Wild North" whose fellow-members found the fossils, told ITAR-TASS. The local authorities did not give their permission to take the fossils out of the river yet, he said.
A scientific expedition will be sent to the Ruta-U river next summer. By that time, the animal's remains would have been photographed and recorded on videos which will be turned over to paleontologists to study. Then, the experts will cautiously take the remnants of the prehistoric animal out of the river for laboratory tests.
The fossils were found by one of the club members, Oleg Yushkov, a few days ago when he was rafting down the river and ran into a stone that resembled the head of an enormous prehistoric animal. Yushkov took pictures of the strange "stone" and mailed the snapshots to scientists in Moscow, who confirmed it was presumably the fossils of a mesosaurus dating back to approximately 150 million years ago, Svitov said.
Expert for studies of rare biological species and abnormal phenomena Pavel Sitnikov qualified the pre-historic animal as "Dakosaurus-maximus" — an ancient sea crocodile that lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.