The Zululand Group - the Indian Ocean is born
 Zululand Group

The first deposits formed in the newly opened Indian Ocean were silt- and sandstone of Cretaceous age (145-65 million years ago). These marine sediments were deposited at the same time that the largest dinosaurs roamed the land.

 

 Cretaceous fossils

Fossils from the Zululand group at Lake St. Lucia

During this time, huge snail-like animals up to a metre in size called ammonites (left), thrived in the warm ocean. Their shells are common in almost all exposures of Cretaceous rocks, such as along the shorelines surrounding Lake St Lucia.

 

A wide range of evidence indicates that 65 million years ago a large meteorite impact at Chicxulub, Mexico resulted

in a worldwide extinction of most organisms including ammonites and dinosaurs.

 

 Mortoniceras
Ammonite model 

Ammonite Mortoniceras (Cretaceous)

 Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal

 Ammonite plastic model


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