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.
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).