Salihorsk miners find fossilized merostome

Salihorsk miners Syarhei Malochka and Vyachaslau Rakavets have accidentally made a paleontological discovery. In the Krasnaslabodskaya mine they found fossilized remains of a scorpion, one of the oldest animals on Earth.

“Millions of years ago there was a demolition of sedimentary debris. It so happenув that the merostome fell into these sedimentary deposits. It was “packed” from all sides, so oxygen and other gaseous compounds did not have access to it. This contributed to the preservation of the oldest inhabitant of the Earth to this day,” said the chief geologist of Belaruskali, Alyaksandr Klabuk, “Kalishchyk Salihorska” reports.

The merostome found in Salihorsk. Photo: “Kalishchyk Salihorska”.

Merostomes lived in the Devonian period of the Palaeozoic era — 350-360 million years ago, when the mine site was covered with the old sea. They were an intermediate form between marine and terrestrial animals, and their size reached two meters. Spiders and scorpions are considered to be distant descendants of a merostome.

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