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They find in Cehegín the oldest vertebrate fossil found so far in the Region (07/11/2017)

The Archeological Museum of Cehegin custody temporarily today, the oldest vertebrate fossil of the region, corresponding to a sauropterygium or marine reptile.

The finding was made last week by a neighbor of the town and was presented today by the general director of Cultural Assets of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Juan Antonio Lorca, and the mayor of Cehegín, José Rafael Rocamora.

The person in charge of Cultural Assets, Juan Antonio Lorca, highlighted "the speed with which they have acted to safeguard the remains" and explained that, "according to the first studies, it is a marine reptile dated some 230 million years ago, what we are talking about the oldest fossil vertebrate located in the Region of Murcia and a scientific discovery of great value that has already aroused the interest of the scientific community for its good condition and its age. "

While waiting for a more detailed study, everything points to a specimen of sauropterygium (a group different from the dinosaurs) attributed to the Muschelkalk, a period of geological time located within the Triassic.

It was discovered in a block of black limestone that is located in the wall of the Orchard of the Order, to the north of the urban helmet of Cehegín.

The fossil, of about 30 centimeters, was authenticated by the paleontologist technician of the Historical Heritage Service of the Community after the communication made by the person in charge of the Municipal Archaeological Museum, where it has been temporarily deposited after its controlled extraction "to avoid possible spoliation or damages that may deteriorate the remains, "added Lorca.

The specimen is in good condition, with fossilized bone remains of vertebrae and ribs and the impression of much of the rest of the body, except for the skull that has not been preserved.

Once deposited in the municipal museum, it will be studied by the specialists in order to determine exactly its taxonomic classification and obtain all possible paleoecological information.

The general director reiterated "the special interest of the regional government and the continued collaboration with all the municipalities when it comes to preserving and putting value to the heritage of the Region through different actions" and highlighted "the great wealth of deposits and fossil remains that have been found and are preserved in our museums and now joined by this new and valuable discovery that will allow us to know the remotest past of the Region ".

Source: CARM

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