Unique 10-Million-Year-Old Whale Skeleton Found in Crimea (+Photos, Video)
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Scientists have discovered the petrified bone remains of a mammal that have lain in geological strata for about 10 million years in the Kerch Peninsula at the eastern end of Russia’s Crimea.
Fragments of the skeleton, spine and ribs of a Cetotherium (Latin for ‘whale beast’), an extinct relative of modern whales were found during archeological studies that preceded the construction of a railroad-approach to the Crimean bridge, Most.Life reported.
The prehistoric creature was about five meters (16.5 feet) long. The discovery is not surprising, considering that the site was once deep underwater, at the heart of what was the Sarmatian Sea. “The sea eventually became land,” Sergey Yazikov, a researcher at the Archeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences told local media.
“The geological layers have gone up, and the whale’s skeleton appeared on top, although it used to rest on the seabed.”
Dmitry Startsev from the Crimean University’s zoological museum said the remains are quite unique. “All fragments are part of a single specimen. Such discoveries don’t happen often. The structure of the bone tissue is highly visible.”