A well-preserved carcass of a dinosaur, whose age is estimated at more than 120 million years, was found during excavations at the paleontological complex Shestakovsky in the Kemerovo region of Russia, Siberia.
Researchers uncovered the carcass of, supposedly, Psittacosaurus Sibiricus, the Director of the Kemerovo Regional Museum, Olga Feofanova told Interfax.
The scientists use the "monolith" technology to extract the carcass from the soil intact to subsequently delivery the bones to museums. According to Feofanova, the dinosaur remains are extracted along with soil, in the form of a cube. Afterwards, a fixating frame made of special material is built on the perimeter of the cube, in which the find will be transported to the adequate museum in the city of Kemerovo.
"When the "monolith" is delivered to the museum, we will start the work to remove the soil from the carcass. This work may take up to six months. But as a result, I think we will have a showpiece of global significance, in which both Kemerovo researchers, and representatives of major relevant institutions will be interested greatly," said Feofanova.
The scientists found the remains of the ancient reptile at a depth of 2.5 meters after three weeks of excavations. The carcass is about two meters long.
The remains of Psittacosaurus Sibiricus had been discovered before. In particular, such a discovery was made by scientists from the city of Tomsk, who also uncovered the remains of the ancient reptile during excavations at Shestakovsky complex.
According to Olga Feovanova, the finding of the scientists from Kemerovo will make it possible to conduct a comparative analysis, to determine the age of the animals and their size.
Psittacosaurus is a representative of a group of horned dinosaurs that lived on the territory of what is now Asia about 130-100 million years ago. The fossils found in different areas of modern China, Mongolia and Russia allowed scientists to determine not less than ten species of Psittacosaurus. All species of Psittacosaurus were bipedal herbivores the size of a gazelle with a strong "beak" on the upper jaw.
The Shestakovsky complex is located in the Chebulinsky district of the Kemerovo region of Russia, near the village of Shestakovo. The Shestakovsky archaeological site counts 24 monuments (three burial mounds, two ancient towns, 19 villages and localities), dating from the Paleolithic era to the era of the Middle Ages. Some of the monuments were studied during the 1960s and 1970s by prominent Russian scientist A.I. Martynov and his disciples.
In addition to archaeological sites, there is a number of localities of paleo-fauna in the vicinity of the village of Shestakovo represented by Early Cretaceous reptiles and remains of fossilized mammals. This is the world's only location of Psittacosaurus Sibiricus dinosaur fossils.
The Shestakovsky complex is the first and only Russian paleontological location, where full and almost intact carcasses of "terrible lizards" can be found. The first finding of dinosaurs in this area was made in 1953. Over 60 years of expeditions conducted by researchers from various scientific institutions, remains of eight dinosaurs were found - from small predators to giant 30-meter sauropods. The most valuable finding is the complete carcasses of "parrot-lizards" - the Siberian Psittacosaurus that inhabited the territory of Kuzbass 125 million years ago.
The Shestakovsky archaeological complex is a unique monument of archeology in Siberia. The complex is included on the state list of monuments of federal significance.