Zaisan basin: Unique finds by paleontologists
This year paleontological excavations are underway in Eastern Kazakhstan under the Modernization of Public Consciousness program. The focus is on the Zaisan basin which always attracts scientists. This place is famous for the well preserved geological layers. Paleontologist Bolat Baishashov was the first in the CIS to find the remains of a genus of extinct rhinoceros, sinotherium, which resided in Zaisan more than 20-30 million years ago. The discovery has become a real sensation for the scientific world. In fact, previously, this animal was found only in China.
BOLAT BAISHASHOV, PALEONTOLOGIST:
- In 1986, I conducted excavations and found the lower jaw and the upper fragment, the skull, and several teeth and bones of the extremities. On the basis of research, I described these bones as a new species which is called the Zaisan sinotherium.
Since then, the area has become famous. There used to be constant excavations, but in 1990s they have been suspended. The excavation works were resumed only 3 years ago. According to local historian Themistocles Zhunusov, every season pleases with new findings.
THEMISTOCLES ZHUNUSOV, HISTORIAN:
- Approximately 50-60 species of animals are found for the first time in the Zaisan basin. For example, a crocodile was only found in three places in Kazakhstan. Three crocodiles were found, last year four crocodiles were excavated in Zaisan.
A completely new finding is the genus of extinct rhinoceros, sinotherium. Bolat Baishashov believes that local residents should see this property and know how unique their land is.
After the found remains, the scientist gave a part of the discoveries to the Zaisan museum.