Through the Lens of Time: Striking Photographs Illuminate Messel Pit’s Fossil Treasures.

The newly discovered fossil belongs to the Masillamys species – a group of rodents with incisors like a carpenter’s chisel. This is one of the most intact fossils ever excavated at Messel Pit, an archaeological area in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Although Messel today is located about 20 km southeast of Frankfurt, 47 million years ago, this region was at the same latitude as present-day Sicily. The wetter and warmer climate then created biodiversity for the ancient Messel region.

The annual excavations of the Senckenberg research institute, Frankfurt have helped discover thousands of fossils of rodents, reptiles, insects and primitive ungulates that once lived in Messel and surrounding areas. during the Eocene epoch 33.9 – 55.8 million years ago. At that time, the lush land that exists today was a volcanic lake surrounded by dense forests.

Some of the collected fossils are currently on display at the Senckenberg Institute museum

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 0
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

In 2007 and 2008, researchers found more than 6,500 fossils in shale in the Messel region of Germany, including fossils of an ungulate with the scientific name Kopidodon macrognathus. Researchers believe that this fossil is a very young male, because it has a large skull cap and upper teeth that are still developing.

Although it has long fangs, its flat molars, specially designed hip joints and forelimbs with the ability to grip tightly show that this is a fruit-eating, tree-climbing species, not a carnivore. Scientists hope that analyzing the remaining material inside the animal’s stomach will reveal more about its past life.

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 1
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

A nearly intact fossil of a lizard found in Germany is believed by scientists to be an ancient relative of the Gila monster. Meanwhile, today’s Gila lizards only live in the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

This fossil reptile lived 47 million years ago, near a volcanic lake surrounded by a rich natural region. Researchers Senckenberg, Frankfurt, who directly conducted fossil surveys, said that the tubes in the teeth showed that this prehistoric animal was secreting venom before dying.

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 2
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

The ancient leaf-cutter bee (scientific name: Friccomelissa schopowi) is one of more than 1,400 insects that scientists found fossilized in the Messel region near Frankfurt, Germany in 2007 and 2008.

According to Senckenberg Institute researchers, unlike its relatives living in the present, ancient Messel bees do not seem to build nests with leaf patches.

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 3
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

This is a fossil of a juvenile Leptictidium found in Messel in September 2008. This animal is a small carnivorous mammal with a long nose similar to an elephant shrew.

Scientists still do not know whether this animal walks on two legs or jumps step by step like a kangaroo, but in the future, through careful investigation, they will likely find the answer.

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 4
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

47 million years after death, this beetle still wears the same colorful, sparkling coat as when it was alive.

Both ancient jewel beetles and today’s jewel beetles have multicolored iridescent wings thanks to special outer body layers that have the ability to refract light.

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 5
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

This queen ant drowned 47 million years ago when she flew over Messel, a large lake created from volcanic activity near Frankfurt, present-day Germany.

Oecophylla ants are today found in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia. This species is famous for its ability to use larval silk to weave nests from leaf material.

Images of fossils in the Messel Pit area photo 6
(Photo: © Senckenberg Research Institute)

Article source: G2V Star (According to National Geographic)

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The newly discovered fossil belongs to the Masillamys species – a group of rodents with incisors like a carpenter’s chisel. This is one of…

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