Real tropical paradise beach and jungle hidden in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mountain Zavelim has kept fossils of extinct corrals and animals hidden for millions of years (PHOTO)

Actually, a real miracle, and at first glance, the incomprehensible and paradoxical realization of the fact that almost all of today's Zavelim mountain was once, 40 millions years ago, shaped like small evergreen tropical islands with a vast delta around them and wide sea coast with numerous lagoons and bays from the south side

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Mountain Zavelim near is actually stoned tropical delta with rain forest and paradise tropical beaches from the period of Eocene with millions of preserved fossils of corrals, clams, snails, and tropical trees. Many remains of various long extinct animals have been found in different parts of the Herzegovina.

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Such fossils are mostly fossilized organisms from the ancient ancient Tethys, spreading over the entire territory of Herzegovina over a period of more than 200 million years, from about 300 million years ago to the Oligocene, around 30 million years ago in the past.

The time period of the Eocene, in which the ancient ocean of Tethys was still in this area, preserved incredible and even spectacular fossil wealth.

It is primarily made up of fossilized remains of coral from ancient coral reefs, containing fossils of remarkably preserved snails, mussels, hedgehogs and many other species of ancient oceanic animals that inhabited the shores of this ancient ocean.

However, in addition to all these fossil animals, a huge supplement to this entire palaeontological wealth is represented by fossils of flora, that is, fossils of terrestrial plants that can be found in the Eocene walls of Herzegovina.

Such herbal fossil remains of Eocene age are already known to us, mostly from some previous research by the authors of this text, from the area of southwestern Herzegovina, more precisely from the wider area of Citluk, writes

The latest discovery of fossils from Eocene age in the Zagorje village northwest of Posusje, on the southern slopes of the Zavelim Mountain, shows the fact that the wider area of Posusje represents probably the landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the most attractive and most interesting palaeontological wealth, not only in this country but also much wider.

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Bauxite mines of the northern part of Posusje - true paleontological El Dorado

Within these newer palaeontological investigations, almost completely unexpectedly, in the area of abandoned surface minerals of bauxite ore, literally alongside one another, they discovered incredible fossils of the coral from the ancient coral reef, as well as the fossils of huge leaves of tropical palm trees. In addition to these, numerous other fossils of various shells, snails, hedgehogs, as well as fossils of other attractive plants and extinct tropical trees were found in the same walls.

However, the most spectacular fossil findings are magical and originally preserved ridge corals, as well as specially found huge fossilized leaves of tropical palms Nipples (Nypa, Nypadites) which, together with other plants found, grew in one true tropical coastal soils of so-called mangroves, and on a large part of today's mountain Zavelim.

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Actually, a real miracle, and at first glance, the incomprehensible and paradoxical realization of the fact that almost all of today's Zavelim mountain was once, 40 millions years ago, shaped like small evergreen tropical islands with a vast delta around them and wide sea coast with numerous lagoons and bays from the south side.

And the best evidence of this can be found in sandy-marble and conglomerate walls present within a large number of abandoned bauxite mines, and especially around them in so-called pitfalls or tailing dumps. And what is most interesting is that precisely those walls that at the time of bauxite digestion were redundant and disturbance to the miners, contain pricelessly valuable paleontological wealth, reports

Although, at first glance, the scary, enormous, and deep surface minerals of bauxite are also priceless sites for geologists, palaeontologists, and earth explorers, because these mines, especially those larger and wider, are literally a real open book of the earth's past on that part of the surface at the place they are located.

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In most of these bauxite minerals, the walls that are in the base of bauxite, that is, those that originated before the formation of the bauxite ore itself, are also the oldest, and they belong to the period of the Upper Cretaceous, and are more famous as so called rudistrict limestones to the fossils of extinct shells of minerals to which these limestone rocks are abundant of.

However, although often these rudimentary limestones contain valuable and interesting fossils of unusual tubular shells of minerals that have disappeared along with dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, immeasurably more significant, more valuable, and more attractive fossils come in the walls of the so-called roof, that is, in the walls that were subsequently formed on the already existing layers of bauxite ore, writes

These rocks are therefore younger, and within almost every surface bauxite dig on the Posusje area, they date from the period of the middle and upper Eocene. Except for being quite younger, even for 40 million years of the aforementioned rudimentary limestones, these Eocene walls are quite different in appearance, due to which they can easily be noticed and detected on the ground.

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In this respect, they are mostly unlike the older white and compact limestones of the upper Cretaceous, darker, dark brown, brownish, bluish to orange, whereby it is actually about other types of sedimentary walls - marls, sandstones, and conglomerates.

Thus, in the blush marls, most diverse forms of sea shells can be found, and somewhat more rarely snails, while in somewhat more compact yellowish and orange sandstones very interesting fossils of snail shells that sometimes have larger dimensions can be found. 

In addition to shells and snails, within even more compact grayish slightly rocky walls, it is possible to find fossils of marine hedges, among which there are also quite large and have attractive forms. But, as already mentioned, far the most attractive fossils are corals and fossils of terrestrial flora or plants.


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