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'Lake Baikal's ability to purify itself is down to an endemic microscopic shrimp called epischura baikalensis'
'Sacred Sea', Peter Thomson

'Ancient monster' surfaces in Siberian river

By Anna Liesowska
15 September 2014

Extinct reptile with 'toothy grin' found by fishermen as they rafted in remote area of the Yamal peninsula.

Research has to be carried out to establish the exact age of the remnants. Picture: Wild North Fishing Club

Is it a mesosaur? Or some other kind of dinosaur? No-one is quite sure yet. Siberian zoologists are rushing to the site to extract the crocodile-like remains before they are covered by ice and washed away in the spring floods next year. 

Intrepid tourists from the Wild North Fishing Club found fossil as they rafted on the Ruta-Ru River. 

'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', said the club's chairman Yevgeny Svitov. 'He made a photo of the discovery and showed it to us. One source claimed it had a 'toothy grin'. 

'We were at first sceptical about his find, saying there could not be any mesosaurs on Yamal,' he 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.'

He admitted: 'Research has to be carried out to establish the exact age of the remnants.'

smiling monster Siberia

Is it a mesosaur? Or some other kind of dinosaur? Picture: Wild North Fishing Club

Some sources say that mesosaurs  or 'middle lizards' - inhabited the earth roughly 299 to 270 million years ago, long before the estimated 150 million years of this specimen. Intriguingly, he said without further explanation: 'We have information that in the upper reaches of the (Yamal) river there can be a dozen such finds.'

Pavel Kosintsev, head of the Zoological Museum of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology in Yekaterinburg, said: 'I was very surprised to receive these pictures which perhaps shows a dinosaur skull. I cannot yet say, is this really an ancient reptile. It is necessary to carefully examine the object. 

'But, judging by the photographs, I acknowledge that there are dinosaurs with sharp teeth and a large skull'.

Comments (11)

I'ts 682!
Someone, Madagascar
30/11/2014 11:15
1
1
I'ts 682!
Someone, Madagascar
30/11/2014 11:14
1
2
the correct spelling is Mosasaur not mesosaur
Tom, Axton,VA USA
15/11/2014 17:08
3
3
Hello, is it me you're looking for? says the reptile...

We don't know...say the zoologists...who are you?

Your forebear...says the "Reptile"...
jojnjo, Dublin
23/09/2014 23:30
4
4
Nothing like a mesosaur, but possibly a very fine specimen of mosasaur (giant predatory marine lizard). Or more likely still (because the geological and age conditions are less particular), the 'teeth' are a weathered vein of quartz and the resemblance to a reptile is coincidental. The lack of heavy abrasion isn't suspicious, because boulders are falling into streams all the time and some have to be fresher than others; I've dug a boulder containing most of an ichthyosaur skull out of a gravel riverbed similar to that.
John S, Perth Australia
18/09/2014 22:35
3
4
Nice looking rock!
P. iemel, Netherlands
18/09/2014 22:21
4
3
Just be clear, a Mesosaur is simply an aquatic reptile, but not an actual dinosaur. It was one of the fossils that Alfred Wegener cited to suggest continental drift, as their fossils are found on both sides of the Atlantic. Sure looks like a fossil, but in a river, the skull would have been smoothed over by abrasion, to the point where it would resemble the rounded cobbles you see surrounding it. I think it looks too good to be true.
Joe P., salinas, Ca
18/09/2014 04:16
6
2
Just be clear, a Mesosaur is simply an aquatic reptile, but not an actual dinosaur. It was one of the fossils that Alfred Wegener cited to suggest continental drift, as their fossils are found on both sides of the Atlantic. Sure looks like a fossil, but in a river, the skull would have been smoothed over by abrasion, to the point where it would resemble the rounded cobbles you see surrounding it. I think it looks too good to be true.
Joe P., salinas, Ca
18/09/2014 04:14
3
3
Looks like they found it before it was looted! Good luck!
Dr. Arthur Antebury, Florida, USA
16/09/2014 02:57
4
2
Yamal Peninsula? Is the the same "end of the earth" where the deep holes have been photographed and investigated recently?
Erica, San Francisco, CA, USA
16/09/2014 02:50
6
3
A toothy grin ! Hmmm the question is who does this grin belong to? -------- the finder or the find ?
Patrick Travers, Perth Australia
15/09/2014 20:13
4
2
1

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