Binagadi deposit of the Quaternary fauna
Binagadi kir lake, containing unique samples of the Quaternary fauna, is located 1 km southeast from Binagadi settlement, near Hirda-Girrar hillock.
History of study of Azerbaijan fossil vertebrates begins since the second half of XIX century. It is expressed in single finds of bones of the vertebrates during the first geologic investigations of the Caucasus undertaken by such researchers as G.V. Abikh, Kh. Shegren, et al. In the first half of XX century these lines took the further development. And the following fact played a significant role in study of Azerbaijan vertebrate fauna. A countryman extracted kir for his house roof repair. By chance he found the gigantic bones of unknown animal and informed the municipal administration. The remains of some prehistoric animals had been discovered as a result of undertaken excavations. Unfortunately, that history had been forgotten very soon. The purposeful study of Binagadi kir lake with large burial place of samples of ancient fauna had been resumed in year 1938 when A.S. Mastanzadeh had discovered here a skeleton of rhinoceros. That find (together with other material collected in Binagadi) created the necessary prerequisites for scientific reconstruction picture of animal and vegetable kingdom of Absheron peninsula of the Post-Pliocene period.
Collection of samples of Binagadi Quaternary fauna widely presented in Natural-Historical Museum after G. Zardabi includes 41 species of mammals, 110 species of birds, 2 reptiles, 1 amphibian, 107 insects, 22 vegetative remains, etc. Among them the nearly safe skeletons of fossil horses, red deer (binagadinian subspecies), jeiran and saiga (not found on Azerbaijan territory at present) are of scientific interest. The remains of predatory mammals such as Pleistocene wolf (Canis lupus apscheronicus R. Ver), cave hyena (Crosuta-crocuta spelaea Colaf), binagadinian primitive ox (Bos Mastanzadei Bur), bear (Ursus arctos binagadensis R. Ver), etc., skeletons of eagle owl (Bubo-bubo L.), pelican (Pelikanus crispus paleo-crispus Serebr), raven (Corvus corax L.), swans (Cygnus olor Bergmanni Srebr), etc. can be marked out. The detailed study of their bone remains allowed to remonstrate the view of the Quaternary animals and discover those changes which undergone the species during the evolutionary process and preserved up to now.
The scientists also studied the vegetative remains (pieces of woods, stalks, shoots, fruits, roots, rhizomes, etc.) Results of studies of the vegetative cover show that Absheron climate was damper and colder in epoch of Binagadi lake forming than at present.
While comparing the Quaternary fauna and flora of Binagadi deposit and the similar natural phenomena in the North America ("Racho la Brea", California) some researchers come to conclusion that the first one (75 th. years) is more ancient than 40 th. years.