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New species of ancient marine lizards found in Russia’s southern Urals

February 02, 2015, 12:06 UTC+3 ORENBURG
Scientists also found fossils of ancient crocodiles, presumably turtles and first mammals
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© EPA/HOLGER HOLLEMANN

ORENBURG, February 2. /TASS/. New species of marine lizards, which lived more than 65 million years ago, was found in southern Urals’ Orenburg region, Vladimir Yefimov of the Russian Palaeontology Society told TASS on Monday.

"In a unique deposit in the Orenburg region, we found rather intact fragments of skeletons of earlier unseen plesiosauruses of the Polycotylus type, which lived in the late Cretaceous," the scientist said.

By fragments of skull, teeth, spine, shoulder and pelvic girdle, upper and lower limbs, scientists determined those were long lizards of 4-7 meters with a large head and powerful neck. A new species of plesiosaurs will be called "Polycotylus Sopotsko" by the name of geologist, who found the fragments — Galina Sopotsko.

Scientists also found fossils of ancient crocodiles, presumably turtles and first mammals. Archaeologists made a similar collection in that region at the end of the 19ер century.

Plesiosaur is an extinct marine reptile with a long neck, small head and short body. They lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods from 199 to 65 million years ago.

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