Messel Pit Fossil Site (1995)
Germany

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Messel Pit is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and includes exceptionally well-preserved mammal fossils, ranging from fully articulated skeletons to the contents of stomachs of animals of this period. 

Germany 1998. Messel Pit Fossils. German Federal Republic 1978. Messel Pit Fossils. Stamp #1 Germany 1978. Messel Pit Fossils, stamp #2
The Messel Pit, formerly a lake in the vicinity of Darmstadt, 1.000 meters long and 700 meters wide, contains fossils of the middle Eocene period, around 50 million years ago. At that time the climate on this location was (sub) tropical. The deposits were preserved in oily shale formed from seaweed which prevented them from erosion. Many different species of animals and plants are found like crocodiles, bats, birds, reptiles, fish, turtles, insects, and the primitive horse Propaleotherium. The fossils found are not only complete skeletons, but also soft tissues like hair and feathers and even stomach contents. 

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Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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