Saturday, 3 December 2016

Monte San Giorgio

Monte San Giorgio is a mountain close to the city of Lugano in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, in Switzerland. It is not high, does not have an unusual shape, still, it has a tremendous importance for the history of the Earth. Tremendous enough to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So let's jump on the PostAuto, the famous yellow busses of Switzerland.

The uniqueness of Monte San Giorgio relates to its geological structure that shelters amazing paleontological artefacts. In most places in the world scientists can find one layer of fossils, coming from a distinct period. Monte San Giorgio is composed of seven layers of fossils, coming from consecutive eras, which allows the scientists to study the evolution of species living in this region over millions of years.

In the Middle Triassic geological period, Monte San Giorgio lied on the shores of the huge Thetys Ocean which separated Africa from Eurasia. In the shallow waters many species have quickly evolved.

When the dead animals were sinking they had the best possible conditions for fossilization.

One of the things that I liked best in the Monte San Giorgio museum was that the fossils are paired with models which allows the imagination to work better.

Besides fish-like animals, Monte San Giorgio was also home to shell-like ammonites.

You can also admire there different types of sediment rocks.

Look, they were even smart enough to create the Swiss flag out of Monte San Giorgio rocks.

I must say that I was impressed by the diversity of the marine fauna that has lived around Monte San Giorgio.

Maybe you would like to check on by yourselves if any of them are still around? It seems that we will need to watch out for their descendants at least.

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