The fossil discoveries from Messel owe their worldwide renown not least to their exceptional state of preservation. Many of the approximately 51,000 specimens found to date are almost completely preserved and show the finest details. Iridescent colors on beetles, detailed structures in bird skeletons, the obvious outlines of the bodies of various animals, and even stomach contents showing the remnants of the final meal could be discovered. The excellent state of preservation allows numerous conclusions regarding the past diversity of living organisms, the environmental conditions and the evolution of the fauna and flora.


  • Title: Trionyx messelianus
  • Rights: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

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