00:42 GMT +323 May 2019
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    Ancient Whale Skeleton Revealed Under Crimean Bridge

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    KRASNODAR (Sputnik) - A 10-million-year-old skeleton of an extinct whale species have been discovered during the archaeological examination of the Crimean Bridge construction site, the press service of the Crimean Bridge project said on Friday.

    "On the Kerch Peninsula, scientists discovered fossils of a mammal which had been in the geological strata for about 10 million years. Fragments of the skeleton — the vertebral column and ribs — have been found during the archaeological examination that preceded the construction of the ground section of the Crimean Bridge railroad," the press service said.

    According to the press service, the fossils of what paleontologists believe was a cetotherium, an extinct genus of baleen whale, have been buried at the depth of about one meter from the surface. The animal was about five meters in length and lived in the ancient Sarmat Sea which stretched across a large territory of modern Eastern Europe.

    READ MORE: Ferries May Connect Crimea and Turkey by Fall — Company

    The press service highlighted that the Crimean Bridge, as well as the road and tracks leading to it, were being built in the region with a unique history, and preserving its cultural heritage was one of the key objectives while developing and implementing the project. Before the start of the construction work, scientists carried out a large-scale archaeological prospecting, examining over two square miles of the territory covered by the project, and discovered dozens of valuable archaeological sites. Objects of scientific value were sent to Crimean historical museums, the press service concluded.

    The Crimean Bridge connects the Taman Peninsula and the Kerch Peninsula and is the longest in Russia at 19 kilometers (11.8 miles). The road section of the bridge was opened in May and construction of its rail span is expected to be finished by December next year.


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