Russian paleontologists have found that in the suburbs in 1997 was discovered the remains of a herbivorous dinosaur of the Jurassic period. A giant sauropod lived about 165 million years ago near modern Moscow. His tail vertebras for many years was in the Museum of the Moscow city station of young naturalists under the guise of the remains of ancient marine reptiles. The results of modern studies have shown that their real “master” refers to the superfamily of diplodocoidea. The opening of the Russian scientists supports the hypothesis that sauropods emerged in Asia and subsequently spread over Europe.

  • Dinosaur-a sauropod. Picture of the author of the study N. G. Zverkova
  • © Paleontological Institute. A. borisyak wounds

Russian scientists from the Paleontological Institute. A. borisyak RAS found out that earlier in the suburbs were discovered the remains of a herbivore sauropod of the Jurassic period. As noted in the study published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, a giant dinosaur lived about 165 million years ago in the territories, located near the modern Moscow.

The tail vertebrae of sauropods in the suburban Sands discovered a student of geological faculty of Moscow state University Alexander Vydrik in 1997. The discovery, which he took to be the remains of an ancient marine reptile, the pliosaur, the student was transferred to the Museum of the Moscow city station of young naturalists.

It is worth noting that earlier in the European part of Russia traces of Jurassic sauropods never been discovered, found only the teeth of predatory dinosaurs of the period of theropods.

  • The caudal vertebrae of sauropod, found in the suburbs
  • © Paleontological Institute. A. borisyak wounds

Until now the bones were in the window of the Museum, and only recently re-examined the capital paleontologists.

“As Elizarovykh vertebrae finding was included in a summary of fossil reptiles of Moscow and Moscow region in 2017. However, Peresechenie with additional clearance from the host rock, made by employees of the Paleontological Institute. A. borisyak Russian Academy of Sciences, has allowed to establish that in fact the vertebrae belong to a herbivorous dinosaur-sauropods,” — said the press service of the Institute.

The results of morphological and phylogenetic analyses showed that the owner of these vertebrae — dinosaur-sauropods, which belongs to the superfamily of diplodocoidea (Diplodocoidea). The most famous representative of this superfamily is considered to be late Jurassic Diplodocus from North America.

Also able to establish that the sauropod on the structure of the vertebrae closer to the family dicraeosauridae (Dicraeosauridae) — the short-necked sauropods of the late representatives of which had the neck spikes.

  • Paleogeography of Europe at the turn of the middle and upper Jurassic (about 163 million years ago). The asterisk indicates the place of discovery
  • © Paleontological Institute. A. borisyak wounds

According to scientists, the discovery sheds light on the evolution of sauropods. It strengthens the hypothesis that dicraeosaurids appeared in Asia in the middle Jurassic period and had entered Europe before the two continents separated the Central Russian sea. After that, according to paleontologists, the more advanced dicraeosauridae populated Africa and America.