Danube Virtual Museum

Kenozoik Invertebrata

Loess around Belgrade

Loess formation in the Pannonian Basin began in the middle and ended at the end of the Pleistocene. The main period of the formation was the second half of the glacial intervals, because during interglacials an intensive decomposition of surface parts of the older loess was in process. The environment - very cold and chilly semiarid steppes with considerable temperature fluctuations was where loess was formed.

Loess steppes, in some parts were almost tundra, while in other more sheltered and humid regions they were forest/steppe plant formations. On the southern edge of the Pannonian Basin loess series covered a narrow strip between Belgrade and the Iron Gate/Đеrdаp. Loess around Belgrade was present on the Zemun side of the loess plateau, while south of the Sava and Danube rivers, as slope loess. The loess plateau Bеžаniјa, as a bigger part of Srem plateau, ended with steep loess sections, over 30 meters thick, towards the Sava and Danube rivers. In Belgrade, loess mainly covered the area of today’s Terazije, Vračar and Čubura plateau (around 12-15 m thick). Down the slopes of the valley of the Mokri Lug, Kumodraž and Mirijevo stream loess was gradually entering into the valley sides terrace composition. In the last century's literature, loess was referred to as the "brick soil", evident in numerous brickyards around Belgrade - Hadžipopovac, Bulbuder, Bеžаniјska Kosa, Lekino and Тоpčidеr Hills, between LIPAK and Rospi Đuprija, etc. Depending on the paleorelief, the thickness of loess in Belgrade varies from 2.3 meters on Тоpčidеr Hill to nearly 20 meters in Višnjica. South of the Danube, in the area of Gročan, Smederevo and Ram, loess sediments cover the old slopes and river terraces. Going further south of Belgrade, loess deposits get thinner and gradually turn brown in the forest soil of lower Šumаdiјa.


Danube area of Smederevo

In Orešac near Smederevo, there are several fossil sites where the more than 50 species of snails, shells and fish remains (otoliths) were found. Paleofauna is endemic and originates from Lake Pannon. That is the time when the former the largest inland sea (Paratethys), after separating from the great world ocean (Tethys), got saline lake environment characteristics. The fossils were preserved in all sediments (clays, sands, sandstones).

On the geological segment along the road to Požarevac rocks formed ​​of many shells of fossilized organisms (known as ammonites) several meters long were found.

Among the shells, the dominant is the subclass Lymnocardiinae (by the number of species): Lymnocardium zujovici, L. parazujovici, L. diprosopum, L. apertum, L. decorum, L. pensli, Phyllocardium complanatum.

Dreissenidae class is represented by a small number of species, among which the most important are Mytilopsis triangularis, Mytilopsis czjzeki and Dreissena аuricularis.

Larger snails were found, such as Melanopsis petrovici, Viviparus sadleri, while from species with smaller shell identified are Melanopsis decollata, Viviparus viminaticus, Gyraulus, etc.

Orešac fossils sites, with species new to science, make significant geological heritage objects not only of Serbia.


Jovanović G., Paunović G. 2009: Gornji pont Orešca kod Smedereva, Smederevski zbornik, 2, Smederevo: 167 – 177; Jovanović G., Knežević S., Đurić D., Bosnakoff M., Paunović G. 2010: Upper Miocene fauna of Orešac near Smederevo (Serbia). Bulletin of the Natural History Museum, 3, Belgrade: 67 – 93; Jovanović G., Paunović G. 2011: Kokine iz gornjeg miocena Orešca kod Smedereva, Smederevski zbornik, 3, Smederevo: 261 – 272.

(Text: Natural History Museum in Belgrade)