Paläoherpetologie Sammlung Messel



With over 11,000 species, squamates (lizards and snakes) are one of the most species-rich groups of living vertebrates, and the number continues to grow rapidly with the use of molecular techniques.

In order to understand the fossil record, it is necessary to understand the bones of extant species in detail. We are therefore building a comparative osteological collection, principally of lizards and snakes. Vertebrae are stringed in order to follow morphological change through the vertebral column. Disarticulated skeletons are a particular focus. Our ca. 1000 specimens cannot generally be loaned but are freely available for study at the institute.

Additionally we have a substantial collection of reptile eggshells.