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may 2019
Last Modified:
may 2019

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Location description

On a westward projecting point of the cliffs of the Ustyurt Plateau is the so-called Kolbay section, a succession of mid-Cretaceous deposits, well-known for their shark teeth and ammonites.  

The Kolbay section comprises approximately 90 m of mid-Cretaceous (upper Albian and lower Cenomanian) strata, overlain unconformably by the Neogene limestones of the Ustyurt Plateau. The section and its ammonite fauna have been described by Kennedy et al. (2008). A part of the shark teeth assemblage has been described by Siversson et al. (2013). Three beds yielded shark teeth, at 44.5, 47.4 and 51.6 m above the base of the section. The lowest of these beds is a phosphatic lag yielding abundant, slightly abraded, teeth of small shark and ray species. The two higher beds comprise fine sandstones with well-preserved medium to large shark teeth, and fish and marine reptile remains. Teeth are mostly found on the steeper slopes or where the mid-Cretaceous sands were protected from weathering by overlying Neogene limestones. Along the 6 km section, only a few hundred metres were unweathered and yielded vertebrate remains, principally the south and southwest facing slopes. The shark tooth bearing beds are sandwiched between two ammonite-yielding levels. The fauna of the lower bed, the ‘Placenticeras bed’ is indicative of the Mortoniceras (Subschloenbachia) perinflatum Zone (Kennedy et al. 2008), indicating a late Albian age. The upper bed, the ‘Schloenbachia bed’ yields ammonites, principally Mantelliceras lymense and Algerites ellipticus, typical of the Neostlingoceras carcitanense Subzone of the early early Cenomanian Mantelliceras mantelli Zone. Thus, the Kolbay fossil faunas are dated as being latest Albian or earliest Cenomanian, pending further detailed work on the section.

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The Kolbay section is situated approximately 75 to the northeast of the hamlet of Uzen, on the western flanks of the Ustyurt Plateau.

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Ammonites, shark teeth and ray teeth.

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Go to the Kolbay Species List to identify your own finds!

Literature recommended by members

  • Kennedy, W.J., King, C., Ward, D.J., 2008: The upper Albian and lower Cenomanian succession at Kolbay, eastern Mangyshlak (southwest Kazakhstan)
    Bulletin de l’Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Sciences de la Terre 78, 117–147.
    Added by FossilDude
  • Siverson, M., Ward, D.J., Lindgren, J., Kelley, L.S., 2013: Mid-Cretaceous Cretoxyrhina (Elasmobranchii) from Mangyshlak, Kazakhstan and Texas, USA
    Alcheringa An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. DOI: 10.1080/03115518.2012.709440
    Added by FossilDude

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Thanks to Philip A Schmitz

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