ASU scientists found amazing fish and centuries-old relics in Altai

11 December 2019 Department of Information and Media Communications
Scientists of Altai State University found a lamprey in the Belokurikha River.

This was reported by the Dean of the Faculty of Biology of ASU Marina M. Silantieva. The expert concluded that the presence of this unusual creature in this area was extremely rare.

For several years, scientists from Altai State University have been studying the flora and fauna of the Altai Foothills Natural Park, which was created in 2017. It includes specially protected areas, any construction in which is prohibited. People here can only go on one-day routes.

Marina Silantieva, Dean of the Faculty of Biology, ASU:

“Lamprey is included in all international conventions, red books. This is an amazing creature and we should do everything to save it. Although it is very difficult to say how it got here and how it survives here.”

Lampreys look more like eels than fish in our usual view. The length of their body is 10–100 centimeters. Lamprey skin has no scales. It has no pectoral or ventral paired fins. But then it is distinguished by a large annular mouth with many horny teeth and an unusual respiratory system. Lamprey eats dead and living fish, thus acting as a parasite.

According to Marina Silantieva, there is a relict vegetation in the vast territory adjacent to the Belokurikha-2 resort, the age of which can be from 5 to 7 million years. Once they grew here together with broad-leaved forests. In total, scientists counted about 35 relics.

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