Tourism and recreation
A park with full-size sculptures of parareptiles opens in Arkhangelsk Region

A park with full-size sculptures of parareptiles opens in Arkhangelsk Region

A park with full-size sculptures of prehistoric reptiles opened in Kotlas, the Arkhangelsk Region, on June 10, TASS reported. There, in the late 19th century, Russian geologist and paleontologist Vladimir Amalitsky found a large fossil site of animals dating back to the Permian period, far more ancient than dinosaurs. His find gave rise to Russian paleontology.

The outdoor concrete sculptures are lined up on the embankment of a new park created for the 100th anniversary of Kotlas.

"They are painted so the fur looks real. We relied on sketches made by paleontologists and the skeletons," painter Andrei Slibo, the author of the sculptures, told TASS. The reptiles that inhabited the basin of the Severnaya Dvina River in the Permian period were very diverse. "A four-meter scutosaurus — the inostrancevia is as large as that — a predator, a smaller scutosaurus — up to two meters, a lizard-looking kotlassia — sitting on a stone, a dvinia — a little larger than a dog," Slibo explained.

Andrei Sennikov, a leading researcher and head of the paleoherpetology laboratory at the Borisyak Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, stressed in an interview with TASS that those are not the all-too-familiar dinosaurs, but quite different animals, more ancient than the dinosaurs. The reptiles, the fossils of which were found near Kotlas, lived in the Permian period, or more than 200 million years ago. That's much earlier than dinosaurs.