Commune: Działoszyn (pow. pajęczański, woj. łódzkie)

Framework element or context represented:
Karst system in the Upper Jurassic limestones of the Cracow-Silesian Monocline.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Paleontological sites in karst infillings.

Comparative assessment justification:
The best known and ones of the most important localities of the Neogene fauna in Poland.

Protection status and accessibility:
Nature reserve (since 1972), accessible by touristic and educational trails.

Character of site: Hill with several caves and paleontological sites.

Area: 20.74 ha

Altitude: 190-230 m a.s.l.

Lithology: sandstones, conglomerates, breccias, limestones, sands

Discipline: Palaeobiology, Geomorphology, Palaeoenvironment

Process Age: Quaternary, Neogene, *all periods

Bedrock Age: Jurassic, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
On the Zelce hill (formed of the Upper Jurassic limestone) ca 20 limestone crags and 8 caves have been recorded. The caves represent fragments of the paleokarst system and were partly or completely filled with sediments. The most interesting are three paleontological localities situated in the paleokarst forms. Węże 1 site (W1, WE1), found in 1934, represents sinkhole filled with calcite flowstones, calcareous sandstones, breccias and covered by breccias and sands forming 6 units. In units 2-4 (calcite speleothems and breccias) numerous fossils representing Pliocene (nannoplancton zones Mn 14 and 15) and probably the Early-Middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna occur. More than 100 taxa of vertebrates have been listed here: amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (Insectivora, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Carnivora, Ungulata, Lagomorpha). The fauna represents several communities related to warm-moderate, humid to semi-arid climates. Węże 2 site (W2, WE2), explored in 1958-62, is paleokarst conduit filled with clays containing bones of mammals, amphibians and reptiles of mediterranean climate and the Pliocene age (Mn 15). Jaskinia Mała site (MA), explored in 1971-79, is the cave partly filled with sediments, among which more than 20 units were distinguished. The units represent two successions separated with long break of sedimentation. In the units 4-5 of the lower succession fossils of the Early Pliocene (MN 14-15) fauna occur (Insectivira, Chiroptera, Rodentia typical for mediterranean and semi-arid climates). In the upper succession (units 7-22) fossils of the Late Pleistocene have been found. Węże 1 and 2 are the type localities for more than 25 taxa, representing mainly Rodentia, Carnivora and Insectivora.


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