Fossils from the Jurassic Sea

Following the trail of Earth’s history

Since 2014 our excavation team has been digging at the “Geopunkt Schandelah”, where you can find the marine sediment of the Early Jurassic. The excavation permit has been granted to the museum by the Dr. Scheller foundation, which has accompanied the project from the beginning.

The geological formation close to the surface here is called the Posidonia Shale and dates back to circa 180 million years ago. The embedded fossils represent the fauna of the Lower Saxony basin, which was part of the Jurassic sea.

Due to the oxygen deficit at the bottom of this sea and the consequent lack of scavengers and other decomposers, combined with the fine-grained sediment and its chemical composition the fossils here are in an excellent state. From microscopic algae and spores that were blown out by the wind to fish, ammonites, and belemnites. But also fossil remains of crocodilians, pterosaurs, and plesiosaurs and complete skeletons of ichthyosaurs can be found, revealing the diverse flora and fauna of this region.

Of special interest are the rare discoveries of fossil insects that only occur in a small number of horizons. These findings often reveal delicate details and likely include several still unidentified species. The study of these insects will occupy many future scientists.


Dr. Ralf Kosma

Head of Paleontology

Phone +49 531 1225 - 3200
Fax +49 531 1225 - 3901

Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum
Gaußstr. 22
38106 Braunschweig