Fossils that are 400 million years old were brought to st. petersburg from the pskov region
St. Petersburg Mining Museum has expanded its collection of rare artifacts.
On Wednesday, January 6, it became known that the main natural-science depository of the city received new fossils. They show what the landscapes of Russia and neighboring countries looked like in the prehistoric period, the press service of Mining University told the Forpost.
The samples of ancient rocks were discovered during the expedition to the Main Devonian field. This is the name of the vast area, which includes the territory of Pskov, Novgorod and Leningrad regions, the Baltic States, and Belarus.
The research group of Mining University managed to find fossils that tell about the history of the ancient sea that once covered the territory under study and its surroundings, as well as about the organisms that inhabited it.
One of the specimens found shows the surface of the historic seafloor with sea lilies attached to it. These predatory sea creatures had long “stems” and so-called “arms” that created a current of water and fished out small plankton and microorganisms. Another specimen shows the muddy bottom of a once-existing sea with a burrow dug by an ancient invertebrate. The fossilized fragment of an entire stratum, covered with cracks of desiccation, was formed as a result of the permanent filling of the study area by the sea and its subsequent disappearance.
Despite the fact that the history of the study of the Main Devonian field began in the XIX century, the study of deposits of these territories does not lose its relevance after centuries.
“The huge area of the territory, the long and very complex history of the development of the ancient sea basin, suggest a lot of ‘white spots’ in the history of the appearance of life on Earth and the formation of the North-West plains,” says Daria Bezgodova, a senior researcher of the Mining Museum.
After the completion of laboratory studies of samples found, museum specialists intend to recreate the environmental conditions of living organisms, traces of which are found in new sections, as well as give an opinion on the characteristics of the climate, which formed the rocks of the ancient basin.
Let us remind that at the end of December 2020, it became known that St. Petersburg Mining University launched a program complex of digital modeling. Creation of digital models makes it possible to better understand the consequences of particular events that with a certain degree of probability may occur in the future, such as natural disasters or man-made catastrophes.