Today, I would like to talk a bit about a part of the Sauriermuseum‘s exhibition that has little to do with dinosaurs. The museum is not designed to be one huge, monolithic permanent exhibition supplemented by a tiny “special exhibit” every now and then. Rather, each year a new part is added to the exhibition as a special show, and then becomes part of the permanent exhibit. This way, the financial demand is more evenly distributed, new and fascinating specimens are added every year, and out-dated and dusty parts get re-designed every now and then. Also, all the work put into a special exhibit is not only for a few weeks or months, it is work for a decade or so.
Accordingly, the Sauriermuseum’s yearly special exhibits are always worth a visit – after all, they are not some quickly thrown-together stuff from the cellars. A prime example is the special exhibit “Meisterwerke der Natur” (masterpieces of nature) from a few years back. This exhibit shows 55 selected pieces from the Siber Collection – and amazing sight!
Epperitites impendens from the Lower Jurassic
Frodingham Ironstone of Scunthorpe, UK.
The collection includes all kinds of fossils, and for the Masterpieces Exhibit the best and beautiful were selected – or rather, some of them. ‘Kirby’ Siber once joked that he could bankrupt himself by buying enough exhibition cabinets for all the stuff in the collection worth showing.
Some of the Masterpieces are tiny, but exquisite, others are huge. Such as this steinkern (natural cast) of a Eocene tower snail from Italy. It’s hard to guess the height from the photo, but if my memory serves it is roughly 45 cm high!
This ammonite isn’t small either:
Asteroceras confusum from the Lower Jurassic of Lyme Regis, UK
Here’s a detail shot of one of the tiny ones.
I#ll now show one more spineless one, then it’s proper vertebrates.
Dicranurus hamatus from the Lower Devonian Haragan Formation
of Coal County, Oklahoma, USA
But now, finally, a few verts!
Merycoidodon from the Oligocene of South Dakota
I am not sure, but I suspect that this one of the many Masterpieces ‘Kirby’ found himself. He is an expert fossil hunter!
The fossils on display cause a very typical reaction in most visitors. Here’s David Maas doing an excellent job of it:
Homo sapiens looking at Mene rhombea from the Eocene
of Monte Bolca, Italy. The only thing missing is the silvery line of drool 🙂
one more – I do not wish to show you all the SMA! Go there, it is worth a trip!
Crossopholis magnicaudatus, Eocene, Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA. This baby is nearly a meter long, if I recall correctly.