Palaeoenvironments of the Manych valley at the end of Late Pleistocene based on rodent and mollusk data from Sanmanych (Rostov District, Russia)


A thorough consideration is given to the geological, palaeotheriological and malacological materials obtained from the Pleistocene Sanmanych locality, which is the only locality with mammal fauna in the Manych depression (46°24′53′′ N, 42°36′25′′ E). The brackish-water mollusk composition indicated that the bone-bearing series should be correlated to the Early Khvalynian transgression. The fossil record gives an insight into the palaeoenvironment at the time that the Caspian Sea water broke through the Manych depression into the Black Sea basin. The faunal evidence points to arid conditions and a cool climate. The rodent species composition is rather poor; it exclusively includes species indicative for an open environment, which suggests a wide spread occurrence of steppe and semi-deserts in the Manych valley during the Late Glacial (~16–12 ka BP).

Key words

Early Khvalynian transgression, Manych valley, rodents, mollusks