Museum Frankfurt

Geopark

Opposite to our main entrance you can find the "Senckenberganlage". This open-air site invites you to ramble and to discover a part of our planet's history. Large exhibits on seven sites render distinguishing samples of life from different geological eras. The pictures following show a scope of the displayed exhibits.

 

Gestein mit Bändereisenerz   Banded Iron Formation
Banded iron formations are not classified as fossils, however, they are witness of archaic life in the oceans of about 3.2 to 1.9 billion years ago. The first oxygen, which was released when the early organisms metabolized, oxidized the iron soluted in the primal ocean to insoluble iron formations. They deposited on the ocean bed worldwide and hardened to banded iron formations.
     
Blütenstand   We live in "The Age of Flowering Plants"
The advanced seed plants (angiosperms) dominate the continental flora today with about 300.000 species. They are essential for the human race: our vegetable nutrition as well as our clothing (made of natural fibre) derives almost exclusively from species of this group.
The plants shown here, with their great, colourful blossoms document a noticeable feature of angiopserms: their blossoms have a blossom-cover (perianth).
     
Gesteinsplatte mit Dino-Trittspuren   Dinosaur Traces
Some heavy dinosaurs left footprints on soft ground, which fossilized to tracks afterwards.
Studies of these tracks could lead to conclusions about dimension, anatomy, kind of locomotion, velocity and behaviour patterns of their producers. The track presented here, belonged to a mid-sized four-footed dinosaur (Titanosaurus) from Bolivia and is about 70 million years old.
     
Blätter von Ginkgo biloba   Ginkgo
From the floral point of view the Mesozoic era was the "age of seed-bearing plants" (gymnosperms). The ginkgo is the extant representative of a group of gymnosperms, which emerged in the late Paleozoic era and was represented in the Mesozoic era rich in species. It is a "living fossil".
     
Zweige eines Mammutbaums   Metasequoia
During the Tertiary period this metasequoia (originating in China) had a frequent occurence also here in Europe - its timber is often found in brown coal. Close relatives are the North American redwoods, which could reach up to 100 metres in height. They are all gymnosperms and in broad relationship rank among our conifers. These plants dominated the earth's vegetation about 200 million years ago.
     
Siegelbaum und Frankfurter Messeturm   Sigillaria (Seal Tree)
Spacious bog forests flourished in the area of today's Central Europe during the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era, about 300 million years ago. One of the tallest trees growing there was the Sigillaria. Dropping leafs left stigmas at the trunk, which look like seals (hence "Seal Tree"). A still existing relative of the Sigillaria is a herbaceous moss called Lycopodium.
     
Gestein mit Stromatolithen   Stromatolites
Stromatolites are tuber-like, layered limestone-formations, which develop with the involvement of cyanobacteria. They already existed about 3.5 billion years ago. In the early stages of earth (Proterozoic Era) they formed the oldest reef structures in the world.
     
Tyrannosaurus rex   Tyrannosaurus Rex
The Mesozoic Era was the "Age of the Dinosaurs". Over the period of their dominance (160 million years) they breed the most gigantic land animals ever, with weights of up to 100 tons.
Tyrannosaurus is one of the all-time biggest land predators. With a footage of up to 15 m and a height of 6 m he could have reached a weight of 6-8 tons. Dagger-like teeth of up to 18 cm lenght fitted his powerful jaw up. He lived about 70 million years ago.
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