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  Messel
  Germany

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Added in: september 2006
Last Modified in: march 2012


Geology site description:

The quarry in Messel is famous for its unique mammal fossils from the Eocene (part of the Paleogene period). The sediments were formed in an volcanic crater. The quarry now is not accessible anymore, and is partly submerged. The quarry has been placed on the World Heritage List from Unesco.

Finds from the quarry can be seen in the Hessischen Landesmuseum in Darmstadt and in the University of Mainz museum. In the quarry guided tours are organized. See also http://www.grube-messel.de/.

In Messel beautifully preserved mammal skeletons have been found. Also the organic parts like skin and hair sometimes survived! Also reptiles (tutles and crocodiles) have been found. Also plants, insects, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, and birds.

The most known fossil is the primate Darwinius. Only one fossil was found, and it is called "Ida". The fossil was found in 1983.

Literature:
Gruber, G. & N. Micklich (eds.), 2007: Messel - Treasures of the Eocene


Do you have (more) photographs of this geology site? Please send your photographs using the Geology Site Photo form!

Directions:

Messel is located about 20 kilometres south of Frankfurt in Germany.

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Other locations in the area
Fossil location: Geinsheim
Fossil location: Gimbsheim
Fossil location: Leeheim
Museum: Fossilien- und Heimatmuseum Messel
Museum: Landesmuseum Darmstadt
Museum: Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz
Museum: Paleontologisches Museum Nierstein
Museum: Senckenberg Naturmuseum

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