Matej Manjariĉ



The quartz sand deposit Vraniĉ is located at the foothills of Mt. Papuk close to the village of Orljavac. At the deposit there was found numerous fossilized vertabrates which were eroded or fragmented. Among the well preserved fossils, the majority of which belong to vertabrates (spine bones, rib fragments, and long bones). Using SEM, barite (BaSO4) was found in specimen which proves that the bones are from marine environment and that they belong to marine spine bones. Comparison of the bones with  present day animals allowed us to confirm that the majority of the bones belonged to dolphins and taxonomically to the Order Cetacea (Whales), Suborder Odontoceti (Toothed Whales), Family Delphinidae (Dolphins). Further taxonomical classification was not possible. Four histological samples were taken, and the results confirmed the specimens belonged to the Order Cetacea. Based on the thumb bone we completed a reconstruction of the specimen which allowed us to interpolate its length and weight. The average total length of the specimens is 154 cm, with an average weight of 36 kg.. These measurements show that the specimens were most likely belonging to the family Delphinidae.The fossils are of both juvenile and adult specimens with adults being the majority. Part of the fossils can not be labelled as belonging to the Order Cetacea, but rather different marine vertabrates.

Numerous other small bone fragments were also found but there determination was not possible. Stratigraphically the fossils were roughly determined as from the Miocene period, most likely stage Badenian.