- Dactylioceras sp.
- Middle Jurassic
- Posidonia Oil Shale
- Holzmaden, Germany
- The Ammonite was compressed from tectonic pressures and preserved on the black shale plate that measures approx. 8 1/2″ wide
In the region of Holzmaden, the so-called “Posidonia”-shales (age: Jura, Lias) are present beneath the soil. This formation originates from a tropical sea. The shales contain a little oil. The “Urweltmuseum” (=”Ancient world museum”) in Holzmaden has a collection of fossil reptiles that roamed the seas!
There were several quarries in the area between the towns of Holzmaden – Ohmden – Schlierbach – Zell, which gradually closed down during the last years. Now there are only 2 quarries left, one solely operated for private fossil collectors (paid access). It’s the large quarry directly opposite the Hauff Museum in Holzmaden. Visitors can dig for fossils in the Posidonia shale there, and it’s possible to hire larger tools if necessary for a small fee. Museum staff is present to answer questions and to identify the findings. Loose rubble and gravel produced by the collectors is frequently removed from the pit.
The Posidonia shale in the Holzmaden area is protected under natural heritage laws, and the same laws apply to the fossils found in it. Qualified museum and/or quarry staff will review the findings and decide if specimens are to be withheld for the state due to scientific importance. In such cases, a fair compensation will be granted. However, this does not comprise the regular findings like ammonites, belemnites and even isolated reptile bones.