“The official paleontological excavations were held in this area for the first time. We held exploration works and found a lot of interesting things during 12 days of expedition. We discovered a classical mud bath on solonets soils, a place where large herbivorous mammals came to lie down in the mud and eat certain clay minerals, at the same time trampling bones of dead animals in this substrate”, - says Sergei Leschinski, the Head of the Laboratory of Mesozoic and Cenozoic continental Ecosystems from Tomsk State University.
“We excavated to a depth of two meters, the work was heavy enough, because digging was taking place in a very viscous clay with water, which had to be bailed in buckets. Although we have not yet found significant mammoths remnants (there are large fragments of bones, probably belonging to these giants), there are at least remains of an ancient horse, bison, woolly rhinoceros, and several bones of small vertebrates that are difficult to identify. We believe that this area was a refugium for the Pleistocene large mammals, it has been one of the last places where existed these representatives of the mammoth fauna, when in the most places they had already become extinct. And we would like to understand why. We hope to find the remains of these animals aged 10 thousand years or even younger.”
Paleontologists plan to return to the Baraba plain and continue excavations until the end of August. The calendar age of fossils found in the Baraba plain will be determined by the end of this year.