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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 in Eurasia during the Eocene–Oligocene transition. This exceptional fossil record is key to understanding the impact of biotic and abiotic factors during this turbulent time of global change. The presence of natural mummies and the 3D preservation of numerous vertebrate skulls, as well as remains of arthropods and plants, are all attractive means to raise public awareness and promote an internationally unique geoheritage.