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The Messel Pit: Window into a Greenhouse World

Anthropogenic climate change may result, within 200 years, in warm and equable climatic conditions not experienced on Earth for tens of millions of years. Ancient ecosystems under such “greenhouse” conditions may be seen as natural experiments, and their study may help us anticipate the future, should mediation fail. The Messel Pit, a UNESCO World Heritage […]

An Early Oligocene Fossil Lagerstätten from the Lacustrine Deposits of the Luberon UNESCO Global Geopark

The Luberon early Oligocene fossil Lagerstätte yields exquisitely well-preserved fossils as testified by the remains of articulated skeletons, skin outlines, feathers and original pigmentation patterns. The fossils include plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals from ancient lacustrine-terrestrial ecosystems of the early Oligocene. The fossil birds are especially important, including one of the most complete […]

Tracking a “Prehistoric Pompeii” , Rhinoland and Crocodilia: New Discoveries And Interpretations Of Ipolytarnóc (N Hungary) Lower Miocene Track Site

 The transnational Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark situated in Northern Hungary and Southern Slovakia has several important Neogene fossil sites developed for geotourism. One of them is the lower Miocene paleontological locality complex at Ipolytarnóc , which has been well known since the middle of the 19th century. The site is the main geotouristic gateway to the geopark, […]

A Window onto the Eocene (Cenozoic): The Palaeontological Record of the Sobrarbe-Pirineos UNESCO Global Geopark (Huesca, Aragon, Spain)

The Sobrarbe-Pirineos UNESCO Global Geopark, located in the Central Pyrenees, is a region of remarkable geodiversity that includes extensive Eocene fossil-bearing sites and constitutes an important archive of paleobiodiversity. The Sobrarbe-Pirineos Geopark hosts outcrops of Eocene formations bearing an unusual abundance and diversity of fossils from marine and continental sedimentary environments, making the Sobrarbe-Pirineos Geopark […]

Original Article
Beyond Eocene and Oligocene Epochs: The Causses du Quercy Geopark and the Grande Coupure

The "phosphatières du Quercy" are karstic fillings exploited for phosphate at the end of the 19th century. They yield countless continental fossils through some 30 million years, ranging from late early Eocene to early Miocene. This exceptional paleontological series documents the ‘Grande Coupure’, a major biogeographical event involving a profound renewal of vertebrate faunas, recorded […]

The Miocene Petrified Forest of Lesvos, Greece: Research and Geoconservation Activities

The Petrified Forest of Lesvos is a Protected Natural Monument showing standing and lying petrified tree trunks, preserved by intense volcanic activity in the early Miocene. The Natural History Museum of Lesvos Petrified Forest contributed significantly to scientific research, conservation, exhibition, promotion and international recognition of the Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark, a founding member […]

The Messinian (Late Miocene) Coral Reefs in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar UNESCO Global Geopark

Neogene sedimentary rocks cover extensive areas of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar UNESCO Global Geopark (Almería, SE Spain) although most of the outcropping rocks are Miocene volcanics. The post-volcanic sedimentary rocks include three successive Messinian coral reef units. The lower reefs consist of coral patches of varying dimensions comprising Porites and Tarbellastraea, which grew on carbonate […]

Tropical Forest and Coral Sea of the Beigua Geopark (Liguria, NW Italy)

Some of the most interesting paleontological heritage of the Liguria Region is in the Beigua UNESCO Global Geopark, in Savona Province. The Geopark is characterized by high geodiversity and strong tourist traffic, being easily accessible and already having geological and paleontological visitor centers. The geosites of Stella Santa Giustina (SSG) and Maddalena–Ponte Prina (MPP) are […]

Open-air paleontological sites: A Dissemination Opportunity and a Risk to Spoliation. A Case Study in the Orígens Geopark, Spain

Visits to paleontological sites are one of the most popular geotourism activities, but their appeal may have drawbacks. Deciding which sites are suitable for dissemination and appropriate measures for their optimal conservation can be complex. Here, we present a geoconservation inventory of 15 Upper Cretaceous paleontological sites with dinosaur and other vertebrate remains from the […]

Smaller than Small, the Unique Eocene Louse!

Some of the most spectacular fossil deposits of the European Tertiary are former maars located in old volcanic field areas. The Tertiary volcanic field of the High Eifel (THV) lies between the two Quaternary volcanic fields of the West and East Eifel and extends far into the West Eifel. The Eckfelder Maar lies on the […]

Messel Pit UNESCO World Heritage Fossil Site in the UNESCO Global Geopark Bergstrasse-Odenwald, Germany – Challenges of Geoscience Popularisation in a Complex Geoheritage Context

Despite its paleontological importance, the Messel Pit was under threat to become a waste disposal site, and its eventual designation as the first Natural World Heritage UNESCO geosite in Germany followed an intense fight in which numerous principles of geoheritage and geoscience popularization were explored. The UNESCO agenda 2030 for sustainable development is the basis […]