More well-preserved dinosaur fossils have been found in Thüringen than anywhere else in the world. Almost every skeleton find has become a global sensation. And the archaeologists keep digging. They may already have discovered a new species.
Forty-five years ago, geologist Dr. Thomas Martens discovered the first dinosaur bones in an old quarry near Tambach-Dietharz. Since then, he has located 40 skeletons belonging to 12 different primordial dinosaur species, as well a number of insect and plant fossils. A 26cm-long lizard looks like a miniature of the famous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. Two amphibians of the Seymouria genus lying next to each other are also an important discovery. They all originate from the Lower Permian around 290 million years ago. Similar remains have been found in Texas, Utah and New Mexico in the USA and American colleagues have been coming to Thüringen every summer for excavations for the last two decades. Together, the palaeontologists have unearthed further proof that all of today’s continents were once connected and formed the primeval continent of Pangaea. The scientists are part of a great Thuringian research tradition. Both the first dinosaur skeleton and the first slabs of rock containing saurian fossil remains were found there.