New Information on Find in Tavrida Caves

  • The entrance to the cave could be used not only by ancient animals but ancient peoples.
  • Russian scientists found a tooth and a rib of a young individual of the ancient rhinoceros, stephanorhinus.
  • The age of the found remains is about 1.5-1.8 million years, but experts have yet to clarify the exact age.

A group of Russian scientists from the Crimean Federal University, together with experts from Moscow and Yekaterinburg, found some 661 lbs of bones of ancient animals. The remains found in June 2018 were located in one cave, which, according to scientists, was a haven for predators, where they dragged their prey.

V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University is a higher education institution located in Simferopol and created in 2014, on the basis of Tavrida National V.I. Vernadsky University. The university was named after the academician Vladimir Vernadsky.

The Tavrida Cave entrance was discovered in 2018. Scientists have discovered the supposed historical entrance to the Tavrida cave during the construction of a highway in Russia. Then it became a real sensation in the scientific world.

According to scientists, the entrance, opened the day before, could be used not only by prehistoric animals that lived on the Peninsula about 1.5 million years ago, but also by ancient people. According to the Russian Geographical Society, the Tavrida cave is about 1.3 km long, and is the largest known cave in the inner ridge of the foothills of Crimea. The cave is estimated to be at least 5 million years old.

Last year, speleologists found a crust of unique phosphates in the cave, which turned out to be alive. Furthermore, Russian scientists found a tooth and a rib of a young individual of the ancient rhinoceros, stephanorhinus. It is a two-horned rhinoceros similar to the modern African one, about 2 m tall and 3.5 m long.

Speleology is the scientific study of caves and other karst features, as well as their make-up, structure, physical properties, history, life forms, and the processes by which they form (speleogenesis) and change over time (speleomorphology).

In addition to the rhinoceros bones, they found the horn of a large antelope, possibly a species that we had not previously found in the cave. The bones of oxen, saber-tooth tigers, and Somateria were also found. “Clarification of the species composition of the fauna in the area of the Tavrida cave continues, ” said Dmitry Startsev, a leading methodologist at the Zoological Museum of the Crimean Federal University.

A saber-toothed cat (alternatively spelled sabre-toothed cat) is any member of various extinct groups of predatory mammals that are characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth which protruded from the mouth even when closed. The saber-toothed cats have been found almost worldwide from the Eocene epoch to the end of the Pleistocene epoch 42 million years ago (mya) – 11,000 years ago (kya).

Stephanorhinus is an extinct genus of two-horned rhinoceros native to northern Eurasia and possibly North Africa that lived during the Pliocene to Late Pleistocene.

After the discovery of bones in caves, scientists began to study approaches to it, including the bones of small vertebrates. According to experts, the age of the found remains is about 1.5-1.8 million years, but experts have yet to clarify the exact age. Dmitry Gimranov, senior researcher at the paleoecology laboratory of the Institute of plant and animal ecology of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences said:

“For paleoecology, it is very important what animals lived in the area around the cave, what environmental conditions were at that time. And rodents will help us show the age of deposits fairly accurately, these are indicators. For example, the bones of squirrels found here indicate that there was once a forest. We are very lucky that the “Tavrida” cave includes the bone remains of all vertebrate groups, in other caves such a wide range of vertebrates is not found.”

These are exciting findings and more findings are expected to be made in the Tavrida cave.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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