Discovering Plant and Animal Fossils from the Jurassic Period: Paleontologists Uncover Rare Specimens in Irkutsk Coal Region
Paleontologists Discover Fossils from Jurassic Period in Irkutsk Region
Paleontologists from Tomsk University and the Institute of the Earth’s Crust of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have made an exciting discovery in the Irkutsk region. They have found deposits containing plant and animal fossils from the Jurassic period.
A Window into the Jurassic Period
The Irkutsk coal region, a continental depression, holds deposits that date back to the Jurassic period. This makes it an ideal location to find the remains of dinosaurs. In 2020, scientists discovered the remains of two Jurassic fish in the area, and in 2022, they unearthed the remains of 25 different fish species.
A “Fern Paradise” of Rare Specimens
During their scientific mission this year, the paleontologists found numerous prints of plants and animals from the Jurassic period, including some rare specimens. Stepan Ivantsev, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Geology and Geography, described the discovery as a “fern paradise” with a diverse array of species. The expedition also uncovered the remains of vertebrate animals such as fish, beetles, leaf-legged shells, and aquatic insect larvae like stone flies and mayflies.
Unlocking the Past
This new finding of vertebrates in the Irkutsk basin increases the chances of finding dinosaur and other Jurassic vertebrate remains. The information gathered from these fossils will also contribute to reconstructing the ecosystem of the Irkutsk basin during the Early to Middle Jurassic period, approximately 175-180 million years ago.