When the Volga Was a Sea


The Museum of the World Ocean is launching a  project that will move you hundreds of millions of years back – to the mysterious Mesozoic and Cretaceous Periods.

The exhibition is devoted to the prehistoric sea reptiles which existed in the period when the Volga was a sea. You’d be surprised but there was a vast sea basin with picturesque archipelagoes in the present-day Volga Region circa 200—66 million years ago. It was inhabited by diverse predatory species of reptiles or “the marine reptiles of the Mesozoic Era” – ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, saltwater crocodiles and mosasaurs.  A new exhibition at Depth presents the ecosystem from the distant past and exotic sea reptiles of the Mesozoic Era who left the planet for good.

The exhibition features original palaeontological items, associated fauna and the cephalopods (a squid and ammonites). We are sure, you will be impressed by a half-meter Prognathodon jaw – the largest ever found in Russia (circa 90 million years) – as well as a preserved Belemnotheutis (extinct squid) with mummified soft tissues (circa 165 million years).

But, probably, the most intriguing exhibits are life-size mock-ups of the Paraophthalmosaurus (ichthyosaur) and the Elasmosaurus (long-necked plesiosaur) created by paleoartist Mikhail Shekhanov and assistant professor Maxim Arkhangelkii (Department of General Geology and Minerals, Faculty of Geology, Saratov State University).

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