Fossil Museum Monte San Giorgio

Meride

Fossil Museum

Fossil Museum

Stabio: ROTOFIL fabrics SA

Stabio: ROTOFIL fabrics SA

Serpiano

Serpiano

The “dinosaur mountain” is full of fossilised fish and marine reptiles – a treasure trove 240 million years old. What was once a sea basin later gave way to Monte San Giorgio, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The modernised Fossil Museum in Meride exhibits a selection of fossilised animals and plants.

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The newly planned museum by the Ticino architect Mario Botta is a mecca for fossil lovers.The 2.5-meter long reconstruction of the saurian Ticinosuchus welcomes visitors to the fossil museum in the center of the village of Meride. Spread over four floors, the exhibition showcases the wide variety of animals that populated the former subtropical sea and its coastline in southern Ticino.

The 600m-thick deposits of limestone, dolomite and bituminous claystone of the Middle Triassic comprise five particularly rich archaeological layers, now dated between 239 and 243 million years old. They predominantly contain sea creatures such as algae, mussels, ammonites, fish and marine reptiles, as well as individual examples of land dinosaurs, insects and plants washed into the sea from islands or the mainland.

 Illustrations and models explain to the public the long extinct world whose fossils have been excavated, prepared and scientifically described by Swiss and Italian experts since 1850.

 
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