Ukraine and Russia (Paleontology)

In recent days, the world's attention has focused on Ukraine, even those who do not even know how to locate it. Although I do not plan to talk about armed conflicts or political issues, I have always believed that all countries (regions) are important to understand how the world works, for example: It has been discovered, through paleoclimatic studies, that Central America influenced the Saharan climate.

Cover, created for my Instagram presentation

Importance to paleontology

Talking about to Ukraine first, it is a fairly old country with surviving rocks from the Paleozoic, evidence of that is found in the Ternovka crater, which was formed about 280 million years ago in the Permian period. During my research, I found the following YouTube video about a panoramic view of the Pervomaisky quarry.

Video of Andrii Gorin about to quarry Terny, published in 2020.

However, some sources have pointed out that the rocks of Ukraine have existed since the Proterozoic Eon, in the Calymmian period, when the continents were united in a single continental mass called Columbia, formed 1300 million years before Pangea. From paleontology as such, Ukraine had a great contribution with the Eurypterids of the Silurian period.

Picture 1. Map of Ukraine under Russian occupation. The red dot was placed by the author, it shows the location of the Ternovka crater. Extracted from Wikipedia: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ukraine_under_russian_occupation_grey.svg

Now the attention will turn to Russia, because, since the whole country is not the same age, due to its great geographic size, one of its oldest regions belongs to the Siberian region, where the vestiges of the extinction of the Permian period (250 million years ago), being of great importance to understand the greatest extinction of recent times. However, Columbia also had a region called Siberia, so its rocks may also date from the Calymmian period (1300 million years ago).

Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs appeared in the world just 230 million years ago, because the rocks of Ukraine and Russia had been formed for the Triassic period, it is completely logical to say that there were dinosaurs roaming the soils of both countries. The species Riabininohadros weberae, a herbivorous dinosaur (hadrosaur), which lived for 72 million years, was discovered in the soil of Ukraine, its species disappeared with the fall of the meteorite that hit Chicxulub 66 million years ago (extinction of the dinosaurs).

Picture 2. Reconstruction of Riabininohadros weberae. Taken from Wikipedia: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riabininohardos_NT.png

Talking about of the Chicxulub impact… since 2010 a debate began about whether a second meteorite hit the Boltysh area, in Ukraine, during the Cretaceous — Paleogene extinction; however, later studies found that the asteroid impacted 650 thousand years after the Chicxulub meteorite.

Important dinosaurs have also been discovered in Russia, such is the case of Amurosaurus riabinini, another herbivorous dinosaur (hadrosaur) very similar to R. weberae. A. riabinini was discovered in the Heilongjiang region near China.

Picture 3. Amurosaurus riabinini reconstruction. Taken from Wikipedia: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amurosaurus-v3.jpg

The Great Dying

Steve Brusatte in his book “The Rise and Fall or the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World” describes the Permian extinction as follows:

Hot plumes of liquid rock break free and start snaking their way upward… This same thing was happening at the end of the Permian Period, but on a continet — wide scale. A massive hot spot began to form under Siberia. The streams of liquid rock rushed through the mantle into the crust and flooded out from volcanoes (p. 17).

Brusatte also mentions that the Siberian area of ​​Russia has a large area covered by rocks that were formed during the Permian extinction.

The Bering Strait

Anyone who says they never heard of the Bering Strait is either lying or fell asleep in their school classes. I sincerely emphasize that this is the most important event, related to man, of paleontology that occurred in Russia. Migration across the Bering Strait (which was a land bridge, not ice) occurred from Asia to the Americas during the Pleistocene, between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago.

Picture 4. Map of the human migration out of Africa. Taken from the book Evolución Toda la Historia.

There are also hypotheses that human beings could arrive at ships from Asia to America, without having crossed the Bering Strait, and although it is still too early to say that this proposal collapses the Bering Strait theory, it is a reminder that since our origins we are nomads by nature.

During the investigation, I found this YouTube video that I recommend to better understand the passage of man through the Bering Strait (I warn the reader that it is in Spanish).

Video made by Didactikós about the Bering Strait, published in 2017

References:

Thank you for read!!

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