Name: Karatau
Location: South Kazakhstan
Age: Jurassic


The Karatau Range is in south Kazakhstan and forms the north western spur of the Tien Shan Mountains. The range covers over 400 km from NW-SE and is composed of the Bolshoy Karatau and Maly Karatau.

The range contains rocks that have exceptionally well preserved fossils in them. The outcrops of these rocks vary widely in size and range from 2-8 km wide and can be followed for over 200 km between the Maly Karatau and the central and southern parts of the Bolshoy Karatau.

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The fossils were first found in the 19th century and more were found in 1921. In subsequent years, locations such as Aulie, Chugurchak and Karabastau have yielded yet more specimens. The palaeoentomologist A. G. Sharov spent several years working on the Karatau rocks between the late 1960s and the early 1970s and discovered many of the fossils. As a result, several of the fossils now bear his name in honour of the large amount of work that he did in this area, i.e. Karatausuchus sharovi (a crocodile).

Index page

 Fauna and flora

 Geological setting and age


 References and links