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Messel Pit Fossil Site

With more than 10,000 finds to date, the Messel Pit Fossil Site is one of the most fruitful dinosaur fossil sites in the world. It provides an insight into continental drift and the sedimentation of the Earth, how the oceans and land bridges were formed between the shifting land masses, the depth and extent of the biosphere as well as the climate and lifecycles from the period around 49 million years ago. The high-quality exhibits excavated at this site paint a precise and fascinating picture of the anatomy and behaviour of the mammals that have been identified up to this point, including 40 dinosaurs. Stunning fossil finds include the remains of more than 70 prehistoric horses, 30 of which are complete skeletons. The outline of the abdomen or even the contents of the stomach were found with some vertebrate skeletons. Bird fossils discovered at the site should enable a deeper understanding of the behaviour and diversity of early Tertiary birds. The sheer variety of reptiles and amphibians allows conclusions to be drawn about food chains and ecological systems in the prehistoric biotope. Messel Pit Fossil Site is also one of the most important excavation sites for fossil insects, while the flora is widely regarded by paleobotanists as some of the most bio-diverse of the late Tertiary period.