Friday, June 19, 2015

Hauff Museum

Over the last few days, my student Selva, and I worked in the Hauff Museum in Holzmaden, Germany.  

This was a ton of fun, not only does this museum have some beautiful specimens on display and in their collections, but the museum is run by Rolf Hauff. 

Rolf is the descendant of Bernard Hauff, the paleontologist who first prepared and identified the skin outline on fossil ichthyosaurs from the Posidonia Shale. 

You can still see Bernard Hauff's signature on several of the specimens!

The signature and dates are very useful for paleontologists trying to reconstruct who prepared the specimens and what techniques they used (and thus what they might have missed).

This is his old work station recreated in the museum.

We even got some help from their preparators in cleaning off some of our specimens!

This is the back room where they prepare the big stuff!

These are so many wonderful specimens on display at this museum, but the Pièce de résistance, is the wall of crinoids (Seriocrinus subangularis) and bivalves attached to a sunken tree.

It is HUGE and absolutely breathtaking! It took them years to excavate and prepare the slabs and this is the largest colony found to date!

Selva and I were pretty excited!

The details are fabulous!!!

The museum is laid out really well, and there is a beautiful "staircase" showing all the layers of the Posidonia Shale complete with information about which layers bear each type of fossil.

And now for a barrage of photos (sorry, but I got excited....)

Ammonites (They used to color in the suture to make it easier to see)!

This guy has a fish inside him!

Many Ichthyosaurs!

The stomach contents of the above ichthyosaur have belemnite bits in them, meaning that the ichthyosaurs ate the belemnites (but not the rostra)!



Marine Crocodiles

Fish and sharks galore

This shark ate a belly full of belemnites with their rostra (replica, the real one is at Stuttgart)!

Of course the lovely crinoids, some of them with the golden hue from pyrite replacement

And some other little echinoderms too!

There is some nice plant material, but not too much.

And of course, what we were there to study, the lobsters and the coleoids!
Lobsters first (Because Hauff has some amazing lobsters)

The belemnites were amazingly well preserved!

And the vampyroids are pretty amazing too!

This one even has his beak!

They have a great toilet sign too....