A group of fishermen in Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula have stumbled upon what some scientists believe may be the remains of a 150 million-year-old dinosaur, though others are claiming that the fossil is too well-preserved to be true.
As The Daily Mail relates, members of the Wild North Fishing Club were traveling down the Ruta-Ru River in Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula when their boat struck a crocodile-shaped rock, which upon further investigation turned out to be something more.
“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 Yevgeny Svitov, chairman of the club.
Yushkov emailed photos of the unusual find to the Zoological Museum of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia, according to The Siberian Times. Scientists there asserted that it was a fossil of a mesosaur, a kind of aquatic dinosaur which lived 150 million years ago. Paleontologists are currently en route to the river in order to examine the unusual fossil.
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Pavel Kosintsev, head of the Zoological Museum, related that the photograph wasn’t the first report of a fossil discovered in the region. Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula, where the fossil was discovered, is rich in Cretaceous strata, known to contain a variety of remains. It is also the same area in which a mysterious series of “holes” in the Earth were discovered earlier this year, as The Inquisitr noted.
“I was very surprised to receive these pictures which perhaps shows a dinosaur skull,” Kosintsev said, adding “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.”
While the Zoological Museum has launched an expedition to recover the fossil, others aren’t so sure of its origins.
“Finding a fossil skull in the bed of a river is entirely feasible, but it would be a very lucky find to uncover a specimen as intact as illustrated,” said Dr Ivan Sansom, of Birmingham University.
With others voicing their skepticism, scientists will have to wait until the unusual fossil is recovered from Siberia to determine whether it does indeed belong to a long-dead dinosaur.
[Image via Siberian Times]