Customs officers foil attempt to smuggle 165-million-year-old fossil from Ukraine
Kyiv Customs officers seized an exclusive Jurassic fossil during an attempt to illegally send it abroad. Specimen, the sea urchin shell, is original and is perfectly preserved
The State Customs Service of Ukraine reports.
Customs officers noticed an unusual rough stone with growths during the customs control of an international mail shipment from Ternopil to the United States. Due to the external signs of organic remains, the stone was sent to the National Museum of Natural History to determine whether the sample was of cultural value.
Experts found that the "stone" was the shell of the sea urchin Pygaster michelini, on which Serpula sp. (a marine limestone tube) had settled. From a paleontologist's point of view, this is an exclusive. The probable place of discovery is Trakhtemyriv (Cherkasy region), Dnipro River basin. The geological age of the shell is about 161-165 million years.
Experts noted that the discovered specimen was original and emphasized its perfect preservation. The fossil comes from the Cretaceous deposits of the Jurassic period. The object has cultural value as a geological heritage. Experts recommend that the find be included in the State Register of National Heritage, as well as in the Museum Fund of Ukraine.
The customs officers were not provided with the appropriate certificate from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, which is required for the export of cultural property across the customs border. Therefore, a report on violation of customs rules under Article 473 of the Customs Code of Ukraine was drawn up. The fossil was seized pending a court decision.