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African Natural History

On-line version ISSN 2305-7963
Print version ISSN 1816-8396

Afr. nat. history (Online) vol.5  Cape Town Jan. 2009


Cretaceous faunas from Zululand and Natal, South Africa. Systematic palaeontology and stratigraphical potential of the upper campanian-Maastrichtian Inoceramidae (Bivalvia)



Ireneusz WalaszczykI; William James KennedyII; Herbert Christian KlingerIII

IFaculty of Geology, University of Warsaw, Al. Zwirki i Wigury 93, Warsaw, Poland. E-mail:
IIGeological Collections, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW, United Kingdom. E-mail:
IIINatural History Collections Department, Iziko South African Museum , P.O. Box 61, Cape Town, 8000 South Africa and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701 South Africa. E-mail:




Thirty three species of Inoceramidae, of which two are new, are described from KwaZulu. They fall into four zonal assemblages that can be correlated with sequences recognized elsewhere: the Cataceramus flexus Zone and the 'Inoceramus' tenuilineatus Zone are referred to the lower Upper Campanian. The Trochoceramus radiosus Zone is referred to the upper Lower Maastrichtian. The 'Inoceramus' ianjonaensis Zone is referred to the lower Upper Maastrichtian, and represents the youngest known assemblage of true inoceramids. There is no evidence for upper Upper Campanian or lower Lower Maastrichtian inoceramids, and this, together with the geological context of the faunas, indicates the presence of a regional unconformity at this level. This is confirmed by the associated ammonite assemblages. The inoceramid faunas include many taxa that have a wide distribution in the northern hemisphere, and provide a basis for correlation with the ammonite and inoceramid zonations recognized in the U.S. Western Interior, and the European ammonite and belemnite succession.

Keywords: bivalves, inoceramids, Cretaceous, Campanian, Maastrichtian, KwaZulu, South Africa.


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We thank the staff of the Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford, and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History for technical support. We are particulary grateful to Bethia Thomas and Eliza Howlett for their careful curation of the collection. Kennedy acknowledges the financial support of the Sir Henry Strakosh Bequest, the Lindemann Fund, The Royal Society, and the Natural Environment Research Council. Walaszczyk acknowledges a Sylvester-Bradley award from the Palaeontological Association, and the financial support of the Director of the Institute of Geology in Warsaw. Klinger acknowledges financial support from the NRF (South Africa) The comments by the journal referees, Gregorio López, Barcelona, and Karl-Armin Tröger, Freiberg, are highly appreciated.



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Received 27 July 2009
Accepted 27 October 2009

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