Dino tracks in northern Germany

As if they had just strolled by

Iguanodon cub Model © Jens Lehmann
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In the volume "Dinosaurs - Traces of a Past World - Münchehagen, the Bremer Stein and the Dinosaur Tracks", dr. Jens Lehmann of the Geoscientific Collection of the University of Bremen knowledgeable and easy of dinosaur tracks, the Bremer Stein and the spectacular locality Münchehagen.

What did the dinosaurs look like in Northern Germany at the moment, which animals lived in the shadow of giant lizards and how do scientists know so much about this time? If you are looking for basic answers to such questions, the loosely written, 85-page volume is exactly the right one. The fact that a Bremen scientist is taking on this topic is no coincidence: the so-called Bremer Stein was created 140 million years ago and can be found in every corner of Bremen's city center.

Bremen and the dinosaurs

The White House in Washington, the towers of the Cologne Cathedral and the Bremen City Hall: what do they have in common? All three of them are built of stone from Bremen, the sandstone, which has brought us many witnesses of the dinosaur era. Even if it is not mined in Bremen, but more than 100 kilometers further south in the Weserbergland, this sandstone is at least since the mid-17th century under this trade name.

Dino Footprints © Jens Lehmann

In 2004 and 2005, workers at the Münchehagen quarry discovered footprints of dinosaurs that far exceeded the hitherto known extent: about 200 footprints covering more than 2, 000 square meters were found until mid-2006. "When I was driving along the tracks on a scissor lift truck at a height of about five meters, it was an uplifting and very happy moment for me." Jens Lehmann from the rewards of the strenuous field work. "They look as fresh as if the dinosaurs had just walked past a few hours ago."

In order to understand these traces, they must be put in a larger context. And exactly these relationships and background information is Jens Lehmann in the band. It begins with the formation of fossils in general, tells of the environment of the Cretaceous, the time when northern Germany was covered by a huge inland sea. He draws a picture of the beach on which 140 million years ago herds of Iguanodons lived, the footprints of which are preserved in the Bremen stone. He describes the effort of salvage and interpretation of the tracks. This gives the reader an insight into the work of a paleontologist. In the comprehensive picture, of course, the animals and plants in the shade of the dinosaurs are not too short: crocodiles, turtles, fish and fish dinosaur they are all partially presented with pictures. display

By the way, the volume has been published for the exhibition of the same name in the Haus der Wissenschaft, in Bremen. The volume is available for only 5 euros plus shipping costs at the Haus der Wissenschaft in Bremen, Sandstr. 4/5, 28095 or directly at

(Kirsten Achenbach, MARUM_Forschungszentrum Ozeanr nder, 12.03.2007 - AHE)