Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monte San Giorgio - the Swiss Dinosaur mountain

"Dinosaurs may be extinct from the face of the planet, but they are alive and well in our imaginations."

The Monte San Giorgio, a mount which rises to a height of 1,097m from the shores of the lake opposite the town of Lugano offering a delightful panorama of the region, has a truly rich inner life. The Monte San Giorgio has been a Mecca for fossil scientists since the 19th century and was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The mount is of outstanding cultural and scientific interest thanks to the wealth of geological formations and their fossils dating back 230 million years to the mid-Triassic period.


Thousands of fossilised fish and marine saurians of up to six metres in length have already been unearthed here by eager palaeontologists. And for good reason: 200 million years ago, this was the site of a 100-metre-deep ocean basin. Today, at the southern end of Lake Lugano, the Monte San Giorgio rises like a pyramid – inside, filled with all manner of fossils.


Around 80 different species of fish and 30 marine and land reptiles have been discovered at the numerous excavation sites. What’s more, the scientists have also found hundreds of fossilised invertebrate animals and plants from the middle Triassic period, 230 to 245 million years ago.


Stroll through the village and head towards the Fossil Museum. Don't expect anything grand but with a pinch of fantasy and a whole lot of imagination you can bring some pretty scary creatures back to life. Your kids will love it!


For detailed information on Monte San Giorgio click on their site: www.montesangiorgio.ch.
For an overview of all of Switzerland's UNESCO World Heritage click here.

6 comments:

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Expat with Kids said...

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Jewelee said...

Very interesting blog. I'm from the blog hop and am following. I am so looking forward to reading more and will be back to explore more.

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Monte San Giorgio said...

By the authorities of Ticino Cantonal Development Plan (CDP) identified this area as a protected landscape area (ZPP). The site is also classified by UNESCO as a natural site on the World Heritage

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