© Inho Shin
Dmitri Sirenko, a seven-year-old child living in Primorsky, Russia's Far East, has made headlines after discovering the fossil of a prehistoric fish dragon that lived 250 million years ago.
According to local media, on November 2nd, Sirenko visited Russky Island, a little away from downtown Vladivostok, on the 27th of last month, to participate in a local youth science education program organized by a research institute under the Far East branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
As part of the education program, Sirenko, who was walking along the island's coast with his family, found a rock with an interesting shape. The stone was clearly marked by a bow-shaped bone structure that forms the breast of an animal. Paleontologists who were at the scene at the time confirmed that the unusual imprint on the stone was a trace of the ichthyosaur or eoryong , a prehistoric marine reptile.
"My dream was always to find the bones of a real dinosaur," said Sirenko, who accidentally discovered the fossil of the fish dragon, recalling the time, "I found an unusual stone while playing with my family on the beach, which was a fossil of a fish dragon." Paleontology expert Yuri Volotsky, who works at a research institute under the Far East branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the fish had a sleek look similar to modern dolphins and was a predator who ruled the sea at the time.
The Russian Far East was known to have been the main habitat of fish dragons that lived on ammonite. Fish dragons are known to have become extinct along with dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Local scholars estimated that only the ribs of the fossil were found on the beach because of the typhoon that hit Primorsky this summer. Local scholars have analyzed that the fossil was the right rib of a fish dragon that lived 247 million years ago, and continue to conduct further research to find out the exact date. To that end, local media reported that the fossil was being moved to the Primorsky Aquarium to conduct further research.