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Jurassic-period lizard's skeleton found in Russia's Volga region

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ULYANOVSK, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Paleontologists in Russia's Volga area said Friday they have discovered the fossilized skeleton of a Jurassic-period fin lizard of the pliosaur family.

Geologist Vladimir Yefimov said scientists in the Ulyanovsk Region had so far discovered the reptile's paw and needed funding to excavate the whole 120-150 million-year-old skeleton. He said the specimen was the oldest reptile to be found in the region.

"We were walking along the Volga River, where we were conducting studies into sea reptiles. In one of these walks, we saw a fragment of the hind paw of a pliosaur. Judging by the lizard's paw, visible from the earth, we could judge that the length of the entire skeleton could be 12-15 meters [40-50 feet]. The skull of the pliosaur alone is more than two meters long," he said.

The Pliosaurs were crocodile-shaped carnivorous reptiles with short necks, long heads, and powerful jaws.

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