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My fossil-hunting- and museum-trip to Holzmaden

Sordes

Wonderpus
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Holzmaden, located at the south-west of Germany, is one of the most famous fossillagerstätten of the world, and especially famous for its extremely well-preserved ichthyosaurs with soft-tissue-impressions and embryos. I was there only for one single time during my elementary school time I think, since this time I was never there again, despite the fact that it is not that far away from where I live, only around an hour to drive. This summer I decided finally to visit the famous museums and stone pits of Holzmaden. As there were many highly interesting fossils and fantastic models at the museum, I decided to show you some photos. You already get a good presentiment at the entry of the Urwelt (prehistory) museum Hauff:
 

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Sordes

Wonderpus
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I have to admit that I didn´t made that much photos of cephalopod fossils, because I was mainly impressed by the fantastic fossils of marine reptiles and fish, as well as some of the very best reconstructions of prehistoric animals I have ever seen. Here you can see a collection of fossil cephalopods, a model of a belemnite-hinting ichthyosaur, a wonderful model of Ophtalmosaurus:
 

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OB

Colossal Squid
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Wow... Wow... Wow...

That Ophtalmosaurus alone is worth the trip! But the model building as a whole, is really outstanding. Not that far away from where I reside, so a trip is most definitely in order!
 

Sordes

Wonderpus
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There are so many other photos I made, but it require by far too much time, so I can show you only a selection of photos. Besides the Hauff museum, there is also another museum, just some metres away on the other side of the street, the museum of the stone pit Fischer. It is not a very big museum, but you can still find there a lot of true fossil treasures. For example a 1,65 m skull of the large ichthyosaur Leptopterygius. The very special feature of this skull is the ammonite which was emedded on the skull. There is also another Leptopterygius skull, one of the largest ever found ichthyosaur skulls. There is even a partial reconstruction of this huge animal. Note the huge eyes which rival those of the largest squids.
 

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Sordes

Wonderpus
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The giant ichthyosaurs had surely a similar impact on cephalopods like sperm whales and beaked whales today. If you look at the eyes, you have to keep in mind that there were even larger ichthyosaurs, twice the length of this one. There is also a wall with a huge painting which shows some of the animals whose fossils were found at Holzmaden.
 

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