Natural monuments

Eldarian Upper Sarmatian hypparion fauna

Remains of the Eldarian hypparion fauna are consisted in the sedimentary cover of Eilyar-Oyug ridge bounding the Eldarian steppe on the north. Eilyar-Oyug mountains are located in the northwestern part of Azerbaijan in Samukh region (at the border with Georgia) on the right bank of Gabyrry river.

The first literary information concerning the finds of bones of fossil animals in Eldarian steppe can be read in A. Ryabinin studies (1913). He established the presence of fragments of bones and isolated teeth of some rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae).

The further study of osteologic material allowed determining that Eldarian Late Sarmatian hypparion fauna consists of 23 forms of various representatives of vertebrates. For example, there are seal (Phoca sp.), whales (Cetaceas),  rhinoceros (Dicerarhimis cf. incisivum Kaup.), pig (Sus erymanthius), hypparion (Hipparion cf. gracila Kaup.), gazelle (Gaxella deperdita Schloss.), tragoceras (Trigoceras) are among them. Of extraordinary interest is the fossil ostrich; the found fragment of its egg-shell testifies it. Besides, two species of hypparions are presented there. The first one - Hipparion eldarium has relatively small teeth, underdeveloped rugosity and wide metapodia that is typical for hypparions of humid regions. The second larger form (Hipparion sf.) is expressed by absence of fold on the incisor front side and protoconch concavity; that is only observed at North American hypparion (genus Heohipparion). Moreover, as it turned out Hipparion sp. has very folded teeth, it confirms its suitability xerophytic conditions of living.

Eldarian hyena represents an individual form differing from other fossil and modern hyenas by gigantic sizes (yield to gigagntea scheossec only) and other specific morphological characteristics.

Ancient giraffe (Achtiaria borissiaki) was also found in Eldarian; comparative-morphological study of skull and numerous bones of postcranial skeleton of which proves that the Sarmatian giraffes differ from the representatives Giraffidae (found in the Meotian and more recent deposits) by presence of well-developed front external keel on horns.

According to number of species and remains the Eldarian location of the fossil bones is the largest one from other found for present time within the burial place of hypparion fauna of the Late Sarmatian age.