The geological and paleontological section presents a comprehensive collection of local fossils providing an unparalleled look at the history of the western Dolomites.

Impressive finds including petrified land plants and sea animals convey the story of the formation and development of the mountains of the Sella Stock over the course of 250 million years. The specimen of an ichthyosaurus from the Buchenstein lays of the Seceda is unique for the region.

The great ichthyosaurus of Mount Secëda

The Ichthyosaur remains found on Monte Seceda were yielded by the Buchenstein Formation, Early Ladinian age, Middle Triassic, 240 million years. Despite its fragmentary body, the value of the Seceda ichthyosaur is really immeasurable! Ichthyosaurs were fairly abundant across a few million years, but they suffered an abrupt and drastic reduction around 240 million years ago (Lower Ladinian). So drastic, in fact, that this specimen is so far unique. Nonetheless, these huge animals were probably the best swimmers among the marine reptiles that conquered the Triassic oceans. Thus, after the momentary crisis, they had a new evolutionary radiation a few million years later (Late Ladinian). The fragmentary remains make a precise determinantion very difficult, but R. Motani - a major specialist for Triassic ichthyosaurs - believes they can be ascribed to the shastasaurids, a rather primitive group characterized by an elongate body and by the snake-like swimming.

To the video "The large Ichthyosaurus from Secëda"

Gallery ichthyosaurus


Gallery fossils