Palaeontology of SW Germany 3.1.10: still @ Hauff!

This series of posts is starting to feel a bit like the Die Hard series: I am getting too old for this …. 😉 But much like the Die Hard series, for me the latest instalment is still fun. So let’s have some fun looking at more stuff from the Urweltmuseum Hauff. Those waiting for the post on the models they show along with the fossils will have to wait a bit, though – I want to give a full impression of the place before I comment on the quality of the exhibit (as if that’s really necessary). I’ll bring all models back in a summary post on them once we’ve gotten through all the fossils…… maybe in 2014? End of this year if I hurry… (just kidding).

Aside from the display on the stratigraphy at Holzmaden that I showed in the last posts, the Urweltmuseum has a large area where it shows exquisite Holzmaden fossils sorted by organism groups. The main groups of animals occurring in the Posidonia Shale are nicely shown on one of the explanatory signs (see photo below). The Urweltmuseum has very many fossils and comparatively little text on display, which I think is a good thing. There is a way of improving on this, by guided tours (which they offer), and by other means which I will not discuss now – more on that later, as it is not only pertinent to the Hauff museum, but rather belongs mainly to a different series of posts to come.

So there you go: eight main groups, and each explained with one short paragraph. For those who do not speak the world language German I’ll translate the texts. Hover the mouse over the titles to see the translation (and tell me in comments if this doesn’t work!)

Ichthyosaurier               Flugsaurier            Seelilien

The nice silhouettes are also used for the stickers on the big glass windows at the entrance (for scaring birds away so they won’t fly into the glass) that I posted before.

Now, before I start digging into the pile of photos of the many beautiful specimens, let me post an addendum: the text and figure accompanying the stratigraphic model:
No, not gonna translate that text. Not gonna do it….. NOPE! But you get a closer view of the figure.


OK, to close this post I’ll start looking at the mentioned groups of organisms by which the museum is organized. Because ichthyosaurs are all over the press now (e.g. here, original paper here – congrats, Nadia, Jörg and Martin!), here’s a Stenopterygius quadrissicus, in belly view (rare – usually, they are embedded on their sides).


(click through for bigger version)

for comparison, a Eurhinosaurus longirostris – these two ichthyosaurs are kind of like the basic vocabulary for fishosaurs if you study palaeontology in SW Germany 😉


(click through for bigger version)

neat, hu? Note how a reconstruction drawing accompanies some specimens; others have models to go with them.

But these ichthyosaurs lack soft tissue preservation, so let me raise your expectations for the next Hauff post by saying that OBVIOUSLY, the Urweltmuseum has better specimens in that regard. To end this post, here’s a close up of that reconstruction, too…..



About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy working at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
This entry was posted in Hauff, Holzmaden, ichthyosaur, lower vertebrates, Travels. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Palaeontology of SW Germany 3.1.10: still @ Hauff!

  1. Pingback: ICHTYOSAURIERS « Tsjok's blog

  2. Pingback: Palaeontology of SW Germany 3.1.10: still @ Hauff! « Tsjok's blog

  3. steve cohen says:

    When I hovered over the definitions, there wasn’t enough time to read them easily, especially considering how small the box was.

  4. Mike from Ottawa says:

    Thanks, Heinrich, for the huge photos. I love them. As close as I’ll get to actually seeing these animals and they convey the richness of the fossil the way small pictures can’t.


  5. Pingback: Palaeontology of SW Germany 3.1.14: spineless @ Hauff | dinosaurpalaeo

  6. Pingback: Paläontologie von SW-Deutschland 3.1.17: immer noch nicht durch mit Hauff | dinosaurpalaeo auf Deutsch

  7. Pingback: more Holzmaden marine reptiles – this time at the MfN | dinosaurpalaeo

  8. Pingback: mehr marine Reptilien aus Holzmaden – diesmal aus dem MfN | dinosaurpalaeo auf Deutsch

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