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'What has enabled Russia to rise among the great powers of the world…has been the conquest of Siberia'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Dinosaur 'kindergarten' found washed up on banks of ancient river, scientists believe

By The Siberian Times reporter
12 September 2016

Discovery is 'in a location where dinosaurs confounded extinction, living for a few million years longer than elsewhere on the planet'.

In the Cretaceous era this was the site of a major river and the remains of the infant raptors were washed downstream to a dinosaur graveyard, it is believed. Picture: TSU

Significant new finds have been made by paleontologists from Tomsk State University this summer with the unearthing of a cluster of 'baby' dinosaurs all at a site in Kransoyarsk region.

The location where the fossils were found in a ravine near the Bolshoy Kemchug River. In the Cretaceous era this was the site of a major river and the remains of the infant raptors were washed downstream to a dinosaur graveyard, it is believed. 

Stepan Ivantsov, of the Laboratory for Mesozoic and Cenozoic Continental Ecosystems at Tomsk State University, said: 'We have an assumption that in Early Cretaceous times in the southeast of Western Siberia there were some dominant species of large predatory dinosaurs like Allosaurus or large Dromaeosauridae, up to three metres tall.

Map


Dinosaurus site


Dinosaurus site

The location where the fossils were found in a ravine near the Bolshoy Kemchug River. Pictures: TSU

'I wanted to find the evidence of their existence, but this year we came across the remains of only small animals, up to one metre in height and 1.5 metres long with the tail.

'The reasons are not clear yet. Perhaps it was a kind of 'kindergarten' - an area where the babies appeared and spent the first stage of their life.'

Another hypothesis is that the newly found 'babies' are actually another - and possibly new - type of dinosaur, he said. 

Dr Ivantsov and his colleagues are also working on a theory that a 'refugium' existed close to this site - known as Bolshoy Kemchug-4 - where some species of the Jurassic period (which ended about 145 million years ago) survived into the Cretaceous era. 

Stegosaurus spike


Stegosaurus

'At the moment we can say that the Stegosaurus definitely lived here: we have found its spike and some teeth.' Pictures: TSU, Wikipedia

This would mean that they lived for a few million years longer than elsewhere on the planet. 

In the same area where the carnivorous dinosaurs were found, the scientists have discovered the remains of herbivorous giants. 'At the moment we can say that the Stegosaurus definitely lived here: we have found its spike and some teeth.  

'A feature of this family of herbivorous dinosaurs were the bony plates on its back and the two pairs of spikes on the tail. At the site Bolshoy Kemchug-4 these animals were dominant, which is not typical for the Lower Cretaceous deposits of Western Siberia.'

At the dinosaurs site


Finds


Dinosaurus site

Dr Ivantsov and his colleagues are also working on a theory that a 'refugium' existed close to this site - known as Bolshoy Kemchug-4 - where some species of the Jurassic period (which ended about 145 million years ago) survived into the Cretaceous era. Picture: TSU

The finds have been sent to the laboratory of the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg.

Here, Professor Alexander Averyanov will work on determining the species found at Bolshoy Kemchug, answering the the question: was this a 'kindergarten' or a place where a breed of mini-dinosaurs lived? 

The site on this remote river is inaccessible no route in by road or helicopter due to a lack of landing space. The scientists reached the dinosaur graveyard by kayak.

'We have an assumption that in Early Cretaceous times in south-eastern Western Siberia there were some dominant species of large predatory dinosaurs like Allosaurus (top) or large Dromaeosaurids (bottom), up to three metres tall'. Pictures: Wikimedia Commons

Allosaurus


Dromaeosauridae

Comments (2)

If western Siberia was an EK refugium for Jurassic dinosaurs, it is not the only one or the first known. The Kirkwood (Berriasian-Valanginian?) has, in addition to a stegosaur, diverse sauropods. At the time, ornithiscians were beginning to dominate European and American faunas.
Tim Donovan, Manchester CT USA
13/09/2016 22:12
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Very interesting. What is the exact geological age of Bolshoy Kemchug4? Berriasian? Are they sure btw, the stegosaur remains are from Stegosaurus not Wuerhosaurus?
Tim Donovan, USA
13/09/2016 17:12
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