Volume 5 (2022)
Volume 4 (2021)
Issue 2
Paleontological Heritage and Geoconservation in the UNESCO European Geoparks (Part II) edited by Dan Grigorescu, Michael Benton, Vachik Hairapetian
Issue 1
Paleontological Heritage and Geoconservation in the UNESCO European Geoparks (I), edited by Dan Grigorescu, Michael Benton, Vachik Hairapetian
Volume 3 (2020)
Volume 2 (2019)
Volume 1 (2018)
European UNESCO Geoparks: Introduction to Part II

Michael Benton

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 290-298


  The concept of the volume is to survey all the key geoparks throughout Europe in terms of their palaeontological significance. The second set of 36 articles in this Part cover the long span of geological time from the Triassic to the Quaternary, arranged in chronostratigraphic order. These document some ...  Read More

The Ammonite Tirolites idrianus – A Paleontological Icon of the Idrija UNESCO Global Geopark (Slovenia)

Mojca Gorjup Kavčič; Matija Križnar

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 299-309


  Idrija UNECO Global Geopark embraces the area of Idrija Municipality in the western part of Slovenia, with an area of 294 km2. Its main town Idrija, with a famous mercury ore deposit beneath, has always been a home to several European naturalists, who explored natural features, plants, animals and fossils ...  Read More

Eifelosaurus – The Lonely Lizard

Jens Koppka

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 310-316


  The Triassic reptile Eifelosaurus triadicus is an icon of the Geopark Vulkaneifel and the Natural History Museum of Gerolstein (West Eifel, Rhineland Palatinate, W Germany). We explore the research history, including geoconservation aspects, and summarize current knowledge of Eifelosaurus, the sole fossil ...  Read More

Inventory and Conservation of Triassic Vertebrate Tracks in the Monts d’Ardèche UNESCO Global Geopark, France

Emmanuel Fara; Jean-David Moreau; Leo Szewczyk; Nicolas Klee; Georges Gand; Emmanuelle Vennin

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 317-329


  The Regional Natural Park (RNP) of the Monts d'Ardèche, located in south-eastern France, became the Monts d’Ardèche UNESCO Global Geopark in September 2014. This territory possesses significant geological structures, including numerous and rich Middle-Late Triassic vertebrate tracksites. ...  Read More

Overview of the Les Isnards Ammonite Slab Geoheritage Site (Digne-les-Bains, Southeastern France)

Didier Bert; Jean-Simon Pagès

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 330-337


  The Digne-les-Bains ammonite slab is one of the most impressive geosites of the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence and Réserve Naturelle Nationale Géologique de Haute-Provence. Its importance rests on the number of fossils as well as their size and the high quality of the outcrop and ...  Read More

The Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shale in the Swabian Alb Geopark – Geoeducation in an Industrial Environment

Annette Petra Schmid-Röhl

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 338-346


  The Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shale of Southern Germany is famous for its excellently preserved fossils. First of all, the large and spectacular ichthyosaurs, pterosaurs and crocodiles impress. Fish, crinoids, ammonites and belemnites are witnesses of a very special living world in the former Posidonia ...  Read More

The Nusplingen Plattenkalk – A Shark Lagoon in the Late Jurassic of the Swabian Alb Geopark

Guenter Schweigert; Siegfried Roth

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 347-356


  The Nusplingen Plattenkalk is a Solnhofen-type fossil Konservat-Lagerstaette in the southwestern part of the Swabian Alb, which is scientifically exploited by the Stuttgart Natural History Museum. The Nusplingen Plattenkalk formed in a deep lagoon surrounded by islands. The highly diverse and exceptionally ...  Read More

Establishing the Lower-Middle Jurassic Boundary in the UNESCO Global Geopark Molina & Alto Tajo (Central Spain)

Antonio Goy; Soledad Ureta; Luis Carcavilla

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 357-367


  The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Aalenian Stage (base of the Middle Jurassic), was established in Fuentelsaz (Central Spain) by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) in 2000. This stratotype is one of ...  Read More

Jurassic Marine Crocodiles in the Monts d’Ardèche UNESCO Global Geopark

Bernard Riou; Mehdi Bennourine; Nicolas Klee; Marc Lutz

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 368-377


  Located in France on the eastern edge of the Massif Central, the Parc naturel regional des Monts d’Ardèche, inscribed as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2014, presents great geological diversity. This includes a sedimentary boundary between the Jurassic and Cretaceous, represented by limestone ...  Read More

The Dinosaur Tracks of Bad Essen-Barkhausen in The UNESCO Global Geopark TERRA.vita (NW Germany): 100 Years Of Development From an Industrial Quarry to An Open-air Museum

Tobias Fischer; Patrick Chellouche; Martin G. Lockley; Christian A. Meyer

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 378-388


  The low level of the Jurassic sea in the area of Bad Essen-Barkhausen (Wiehen Mountains, NW Germany) was a precondition for the migration of a herd of sauropods and theropods through this coastal area about 153 million years ago. The dinosaurs left at least 11 trackways on a single fine-grained siltstone ...  Read More

Social Participation as a Tool for Protection and Enhancement of Las Loras UNESCO Global Geopark Paleontological Heritage (Spain)

José Angel Sánchez Fabián; Karmah Salman; Nicolás Gallego Rojas

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 389-397


  For many years, even before it was designated as Las Loras UNESCO Global Geopark, work was carried out to promote and protect the geological heritage of the territory. To this end, an innovative model of governance was introduced, involving local people in the management of heritage by means of citizen ...  Read More

The Ammonitico Rosso Facies in Sierras Subbéticas UGGp (Córdoba, Spain): Geological Importance and Threats – The Case of La Cañada del Hornillo

Alicia S Serna Barquero; Federico Olóriz Sáez; Antonio García Jiménez; Felipe Jesús González Barrionuevo

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 398-412


  The Ammonitico Rosso is one of the most studied as well as most unusual facies developed in the Tethys Ocean, mainly during the Jurassic. This calcareous to marly-calcareous facies was typical on high seabeds seawards from the main platforms and emerged lands, sites where fine sediments accumulated discontinuously, ...  Read More

Dinosaur Tracksites from the Maestrazgo UNESCO Global Geopark (Teruel, Spain)

Luis Alcalá; Alberto Cobos

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 413-426


  Numerous Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous tracksites are found in the Maestrazgo UNESCO Global Geopark; sauropod and ornithopod tracks are abundant and there are some rare stegosaurians and theropods. The Lower Cretaceous ichnite sites are dominated by ornithopod tracks, while only one Upper Cretaceous ...  Read More

Dinosaur Bones from the Maestrazgo UNESCO Global Geopark (Teruel, Spain)

Luis Alcalá; Rafael Royo-Torres

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 427-439


  The current territory of the Maestrazgo UNESCO Global Geopark has provided fossils that pioneered dinosaur research in Spain. The first Spanish dinosaur, Aragosaurus ischiaticus (published in 1987), five other new genera of dinosaurs and six species were described from fossils found at Geopark sites. ...  Read More

Lower Cretaceous Fossil Site near Leše: First Heteromorphic Ammonoid Site in Slovenia and Karawanken/Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark

Matija Križnar; Darja Komar; Mojca Bedjanič; Gerald Hartmann; Aljoša Šafran; Ivan Ocepek

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 440-446


  The cross-border Geopark Karawanken/ Karavanke was established in 2011 to reflect the diverse geological composition and varied and rich natural and cultural heritage of the area. The wealth of geological heritage is reflected in numerous, already existing geosites, exceptional and unique on a global ...  Read More

The Aptian Marls of La Tuilière (Luberon UNESCO Global Geopark, France), a Historical Stratotype

Stephane Legal; Pauline Coster

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 447-453


  The historical stratotype of the Aptian Stage (Cretaceous) was defined in the Luberon UNESCO global geopark in the middle of the 19th century. Due to excessive urbanization launched in the early sixties, the best outcropping conditions are those found at La Tuilière, in the vicinity of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt. ...  Read More

Research and Geoconservation of the Albian “Giant” Ammonites Collection in the Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark

Asier Hilario; Miguel Angel López-Horgue; Luis Miguel Agirrezabala

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 454-458


  The Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark is known worldwide for its great thickness of Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene “flysch” formations. The K/Pg and P/E boundaries are among the most popular sites, together with the IUGS-ICS designated Selandian and Thanetian global stratotypes. However, ...  Read More

A Unique Late Cretaceous dinosaur locality in the Bakony-Balaton Geopark of Hungary (Iharkút, Bakony Mts.)

Gabor Botfalvai; László Makádi; Gáspár Albert; Attila Ősi

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 459-470


  Iharkút is a Late Cretaceous (Santonian) vertebrate-bearing locality in the Bakony Mountains of western Hungary, where productive and continuous paleontological excavations have been carried out in the last twenty years. Fieldwork resulted in a very rich and diverse assemblage of terrestrial and ...  Read More

Meeting Island Dwarfs and Giants of the Cretaceous – The Hațeg Country UNESCO Global Geopark, Romania

Zoltán Csiki-Sava; Alexandru Andrășanu

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 471-491


  We review here key geological heritage elements of the Hațeg Country UNESCO Global Geopark (Southern Carpathians, western Romania) represented by latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate fossils and the sedimentary rocks enclosing them. Based on available geological and paleontological evidence, these ...  Read More

Dinosaur Eggs and Babies in the UNESCO GGN Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark (Romania)

Dan Alexandru Grigorescu

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 492-512


  In 1898, when the first dinosaur eggs were discovered in Hațeg Country (which in 2005 became part of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network), not one dinosaur egg had ever been unearthed either in the vicinity or anywhere in Romania. Twenty years later, tens of sites bearing remnants of dinosaur eggs – ...  Read More

Open-air paleontological sites: A Dissemination Opportunity and a Risk to Spoliation. A Case Study in the Orígens Geopark, Spain

Isabel C Blasi; Xavier Mir Pellicer; Joan Poch; Angel Galobart

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 513-523


  Visits to paleontological sites are one of the most popular geotourism activities, but their appeal may have drawbacks. Deciding which sites are suitable for dissemination and appropriate measures for their optimal conservation can be complex. Here, we present a geoconservation inventory of 15 Upper ...  Read More

Messel Pit UNESCO World Heritage Fossil Site in the UNESCO Global Geopark Bergstrasse-Odenwald, Germany – Challenges of Geoscience Popularisation in a Complex Geoheritage Context

Marie-Luise Frey; Pascal Schmitz; Jutta Weber

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 524-546


  Despite its paleontological importance, the Messel Pit was under threat to become a waste disposal site, and its eventual designation as the first Natural World Heritage UNESCO geosite in Germany followed an intense fight in which numerous principles of geoheritage and geoscience popularization were ...  Read More

The Messel Pit: Window into a Greenhouse World

Krister T Smith

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 547-556


  Anthropogenic climate change may result, within 200 years, in warm and equable climatic conditions not experienced on Earth for tens of millions of years. Ancient ecosystems under such “greenhouse” conditions may be seen as natural experiments, and their study may help us anticipate the future, ...  Read More

Smaller than Small, the Unique Eocene Louse!

Martin Koziol; Torsten Wappler

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 557-560


  Some of the most spectacular fossil deposits of the European Tertiary are former maars located in old volcanic field areas. The Tertiary volcanic field of the High Eifel (THV) lies between the two Quaternary volcanic fields of the West and East Eifel and extends far into the West Eifel. The Eckfelder ...  Read More

A Window onto the Eocene (Cenozoic): The Palaeontological Record of the Sobrarbe-Pirineos UNESCO Global Geopark (Huesca, Aragon, Spain)

Jose Ignacio Canudo; Ainara Badiola; Anchel Belmonte; Jesús Cardiel; Gloria Cuenca-Bescos; Ester Diaz Berenguer; Fernando Ferratges; Miguel Moreno Azanza; Adan Perez Garcia; Manuel Perez Pueyo; Roi Silva Casal; Samuel Zamora Iranzo

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 561-572


  The Sobrarbe-Pirineos UNESCO Global Geopark, located in the Central Pyrenees, is a region of remarkable geodiversity that includes extensive Eocene fossil-bearing sites and constitutes an important archive of paleobiodiversity. The Sobrarbe-Pirineos Geopark hosts outcrops of Eocene formations bearing ...  Read More

Beyond Eocene and Oligocene Epochs: The Causses du Quercy Geopark and the Grande Coupure

Thierry Pélissié; Maëva J Orliac; Pierre Olivier Antoine; Vincent Biot; Gilles Escarguel

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 573-585


  The "phosphatières du Quercy" are karstic fillings exploited for phosphate at the end of the 19th century. They yield countless continental fossils through some 30 million years, ranging from late early Eocene to early Miocene. This exceptional paleontological series documents the ‘Grande ...  Read More

Tropical Forest and Coral Sea of the Beigua Geopark (Liguria, NW Italy)

Maria Cristina Bonci; Piazza Michele; Briguglio Antonino; Castello Giulia; Caprioglio Cristina; Firpo Marco

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 586-603


  Some of the most interesting paleontological heritage of the Liguria Region is in the Beigua UNESCO Global Geopark, in Savona Province. The Geopark is characterized by high geodiversity and strong tourist traffic, being easily accessible and already having geological and paleontological visitor centers. ...  Read More

An Early Oligocene Fossil Lagerstätten from the Lacustrine Deposits of the Luberon UNESCO Global Geopark

Pauline Coster; Stephane Legal

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 604-612


  The Luberon early Oligocene fossil Lagerstätte yields exquisitely well-preserved fossils as testified by the remains of articulated skeletons, skin outlines, feathers and original pigmentation patterns. The fossils include plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals from ancient lacustrine-terrestrial ...  Read More

Oligocene Trace Fossil Geoconservation and Geoheritage: On the Mammals Tracks of the Luberon UNESCO Global Geopark

Pauline Coster; Stephane Legal

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 613-620


  Trace fossils represent an important component of the Earth’s heritage that provide important keys for learning about the diversity and evolution of life and environments through time. They represent a rich and fragile geoheritage that requires special geoconservation measures.The Saignon tracksite, ...  Read More

Tracking a “Prehistoric Pompeii” , Rhinoland and Crocodilia: New Discoveries And Interpretations Of Ipolytarnóc (N Hungary) Lower Miocene Track Site

Laszlo Kordos; Ildiko Meszaros; Imre Szarvas

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 621-634


   The transnational Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark situated in Northern Hungary and Southern Slovakia has several important Neogene fossil sites developed for geotourism. One of them is the lower Miocene paleontological locality complex at Ipolytarnóc , which has been well known since ...  Read More

The Miocene Petrified Forest of Lesvos, Greece: Research and Geoconservation Activities

Nickolas C Zouros

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 635-649


  The Petrified Forest of Lesvos is a Protected Natural Monument showing standing and lying petrified tree trunks, preserved by intense volcanic activity in the early Miocene. The Natural History Museum of Lesvos Petrified Forest contributed significantly to scientific research, conservation, exhibition, ...  Read More

The Messinian (Late Miocene) Coral Reefs in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar UNESCO Global Geopark

Juan Carlos Braga; Jose Manuel Martin; Gloria Garcia-Hoyo; Lucia Tejero-Trueque

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 650-662


  Neogene sedimentary rocks cover extensive areas of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar UNESCO Global Geopark (Almería, SE Spain) although most of the outcropping rocks are Miocene volcanics. The post-volcanic sedimentary rocks include three successive Messinian coral reef units. The lower reefs consist ...  Read More

Quaternary Large Mammals from the Granada Geopark: A Magnificent Record with Examples of Geoconservation

Alfonso Arribas Herrera; Guiomar Garrido Álvarez; José Antonio Garrido García; Francisco Juan García Tortosa; Cristobal Medialdea Pérez

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 663-674


  Granada Geopark, covering almost all of the Guadix-Baza basin, contains an exceptional and near-continuous fossil record of the evolution of Pliocene to middle Pleistocene land mammals (5–0.5 Ma). This period covers the endorheic (closed drainage basin) stage of this geological basin and, in this ...  Read More

Hidden Fossils of The Hondsrug Complex Connect Time and Space

Margaretha Roelfs; Harry Huisman

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 675-684


  The Hondsrug UNESCO Global Geopark in the northeast of the Netherlands comprises the Hondsrug-complex, a prominent range of low till ridges created by forces of moving land ice and melt water. The unusual orientations of the ridges contrast with the usual direction of ice flow, and they are separated ...  Read More

Upper Pleistocene Fauna from the Middle Palaeolithic Site of Foz do Enxarrique (Vila Velha de Ródão, Naturtejo UNESCO Global Geopark)

Silvério Domingues Figueiredo; Luís Raposo; Maria Fernanda Sousa

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 685-693


  Foz do Enxarrique (FENX) is an open-air archaeological site from the end of the Middle Palaeolithic, with faunal remains and Mousterian industry, dated 44–32 Ka. The faunal accumulation shows evidence of human intervention. It can be seen as a paradigm for the interpretation of taphonomic processes ...  Read More

Hohle Fels – A UNESCO Global Geopark Geosite within a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Protection and Cooperation

Conny Meister; Iris Bohnacker; Guido Bataille

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 694-709


  The Hohle Fels Cave in the Swabian Jura is a key site of the Central European late Middle and early Upper Paleolithic. The Aurignacian deposits with more than 90,000 lithic artifacts, numerous faunal remains as well as the presence of flutes, beads and mobile art objects, give an exceptional insight ...  Read More

A Cave Occupied by Cave Bears for Thousands of Years in the Sobrarbe-Pirineos UNESCO Global Geopark (Huesca, Aragon, Spain)

Raquel Rabal-Garcés; Gloria Cuenca-Bescós; Jose Ignacio Canudo

Volume 4, Issue 2 , December 2021, Pages 710-719


  The Sobrarbe-Pirineos UNESCO Global Geopark shows an extremely well-developed underground karst relief as a result of the great abundance and thickness of its limestone formations. The most important Pleistocene vertebrate site within the Geopark is Coro Tracito Cave at Tella. The fossil association ...  Read More