Permian Monsters

Life Before the Dinosaurs



A large variety of bizarre-looking animals dominated life on land and in waters of the ancient continent Pangea some 290 million years ago during the age of the Permian. The unique exhibition takes us back into a time before the most extensive mass extinction in Earth history, which took place long before the age of the dinosaurs. Fossilized skeletons and life size models of the Permian Monsters nowadays document the peculiarity of this ancient fauna. Fearsome predators equipped with sharp teeth like Inostrancevia and Dimetrodon preyed on herds of herbivores, which were characterized by horns, bumps and tall sails situated on their backs and which therefore did not appear less horrifying than their carnivorous contemporaries.

The Permian period ended with the most disastrous extinction the Earth ever experienced, which wiped out 90% of all species on the planet. The cause of the end-Permian extinction had baffled scientists for the past 20 years but a recent discovery shed new light on it: global warming. The climate change at that time was initiated by a huge volcanic eruption, and set off a chain of events that finally led to the greatest extinction ever.