International scientific journal

ISSN: 2663-0419 (electronic version)

ISSN: 2218-8754 (print version)

International scientific journal

ISSN: 2663-0419 (electronic version)

ISSN: 2218-8754 (print version)


Fossils and modern pinnipeds of Azerbaijan

Eybatov T.M., Gadjiev D.V.

Natural History Museum of ANAS
17 (3) Lermontov str., Baku, Azerbaijan, AZ1006: 


In the paper the general distribution pattern and history of studying of fossil and modern pinnipeds found in the territory of Azerbaijan and the adjacent countries is given. Fossil representatives of 2 families (Semantoriidae and Phocidae), 3 subfamilies (Nekromitinae, Monachinae and Phocinae), 3 genus and 5 species of fossil pinnipeds have been found in the country: 1) Phoca sp., 2) Monachopsis pontica, 3) Phoca procaspica, 4) Phoca meoticum, 5) Nekromithes nestoris, 6) Phoca caspica.
Pinnipeds fossils recovered from the breccia of the Lokbatan mud volcano, the only active mud volcano that periodically ejects the skeletal remains of pinnipeds and cetaceans to the surface, are described. The results of archaeozoological research, which revealed the use of the skin and fat of the Caspian seal in everyday life and economy from the Upper Paleolithic to the present day, are also presented. The present state of the Caspian seal population and the reasons for its sharp decrease are briefly highlighted. The results of half a century summer monitoring studies of the dynamics of seal carcasses on the northern coast of the Absheron Peninsula (a unique Caspian seal cemetery) and its interrelation with the number of seals in the Caspian Sea are given. The analysis of the dynamics of dead seals stranding allows to state a gradual increase in the number of seals after their mass deaths in 1997 and 2000 due to the epidemic caused by the canine distemper or canine measles viruses. Recommendations on saving the Caspian seal population are presented.

Keywords: pinnipeds, archezoology, mud volcanoes, Caspian seal, mortality monitoring, recommendations for saving populations


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DOI: 10.33677/ggianas20220100077