Magdeburg (dpa/sa) - The Magdeburg Museum of Natural History is showing finds of primordial dinosaurs up to 350 million years old in a new exhibition. "Traces in the stone" will open this Friday, as the museum announced on Thursday. Among other things, the latest trace finds from Saxony-Anhalt can be seen, including footprints and grave tracks of the first amphibians, primordial dinosaurs and mammal-like reptiles. These lived on earth around 350 to 250 million years ago in the Palaeozoic - and some of them have been preserved as petrified remains to this day.
In a large exhibition room, visitors can experience the variety of early dinosaur tracks and their producers using fossil plates with petrified tracks as well as skeletal remains and lifelike animal models. "It was important to us not only to show the tracks of an animal, but also what it must have looked like," said the curator at the Natural History Museum, Michael Buchwitz. These included an animated graphic of an animal's gait - and a life-size replica of a primordial dinosaur whose footprints were discovered in the Mammendorf quarry near Magdeburg.
The trace finds exhibited in the Natural History Museum come mainly from rich find sites in central Germany, including the Bromacker quarry near Tambach-Dietharz in the Thuringian Forest.
As curator Buchwitz said, traces of animal groups that are millions of years old can be found particularly in deposits from lakes and rivers. After a find, researchers are then faced with the task of using the shape and size of the track to find out which animals the footprints come from. In addition, the question of how the traces were created must be clarified, said the curator. "Based on the tracks in the stone, one can draw conclusions as to which gait the primordial dinosaurs used to move." For Buchwitz, finds of grave or footprints are often more exciting than fossilized bones.
The exhibition can be visited until the end of February next year.