Fossils of ammonites (found in Spain) from the private collection of Bulgarian biologist Rostislav Trayanov. Photo: TV grab from BGNES
A private collection of over 1,000 sea fauna fossils from different geological eras has been exhibited in the Museum of Natural History in the southern Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.
The fossil collection belongs to Rostislav Trayanov, a biologist from the Black Sea city of Varna, reports the private Bulgarian news agency BGNES.
Trayanov’s collection is said to be one of the richest private fossil collections in the entire world.
It features fossils of sea urchins, ammonites, corals, 80-million-year-old fossilized pearls, among others.
One of the most interesting and extremely rare fossils in the collection is a tooth from a megalodon, the extinct prehistoric giant shark which reached 18 meters in length, and was the largest shark that ever existed onPlanet Earth.
Trayanov has collected his private collection of fossils, which is said to be of substantial scientific value, over a period of more than 20 years.
Most of the fossils in it have been found in Bulgaria in places some of which are known for their deposits of fossilized sea urchins: the town of Nikopol on the Danube, the cities of Lovech, Pleven, and Shumen in Northern Bulgaria, the town of Chirpan in Southeast Bulgaria, and the towns of Byala and Padina in the District of Varna near the Black Seacoast.
The unique exhibition of the sea fauna fossils will be opened in the Natural HistoryMuseum in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv until February 10, 2015.
Fossils of sea urchins, corals, and other prehistoric sea fauna from the private collection. Photos: TV grabs from BGNES
Paleontology in Bulgaria started to develop as a separate field in the second half of the 20th century.
Consistent with the type of the specific fossil finds, Bulgarian paleontology has been focused mostly on the study of prehistoricmammals (such as elephants, rhinoceroses, whales) of which numerous fossildeposits have been found, and paleo-ornithology, the study of prehistoric birds.
There have been few discoveries of fossils from dinosaurs, fish, and amphibians, and, respectively, little academic effort dedicated to those fields. So far only two dinosaur species have been proven to have lived on Bulgaria‘s territory – an ornithomimosaur species and a hadrosaurid species, as well as the aquatic lizard species mosasaurus.