Messel Pit Fossil Site

Germany
Inscribed in
1995
Criterion
(viii)

Messel Pit is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and includes exceptionally well-preserved mammal fossils, ranging from fully articulated skeletons to the contents of stomachs of animals of this period. © UNESCO

Summary

2017 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
09 Nov 2017
Good
The conservation outlook for the Messel Pit Fossil Site is good in the long term. The World Heritage values of the site are well preserved and stable thanks to the adequate and improving system of protection and management. The current and potential threats are very low and are all included in the current management plan, which is in place since 2009. The threats are well identified and the risks for the site are adequately estimated and addressed.

Current state and trend of VALUES

Good
Trend
Improving
The site’s World Heritage values are associated with the fossil record of a unique Middle Eocene environment, including various communities of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial organisms. Recovered fossils are well preserved and stored in public institutions and the state of the site itself improved over the last five years, with the creation of a buffer zone and the measures concerning the stabilisation of the western slopes. Significant scientific results have improved our knowledge about the middle Eocene environment. Our knowledge is greater now than five years ago regarding taxa such as turtles, fishes, squamates and especially invertebrates. Advances in the history of primates and carnivores have contributed to the importance of the site for the studying the evolution of mammals. Recent works highlight our knowledge of the trophic structure of this Eocene Ecosystem and provide advances in the scope of taphonomic studies.

Overall THREATS

Very Low Threat
The only current threat is from landslides of the slopes of the pit. Current management system (with a network of inclinometers) is present to follow and measure any increase of slope landslides. Few potential threats (impact of growing tourism and of scientific activities) can only have a very low impact because they are well identified and the management system already proposed measures to make these threats very unlikely.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Highly Effective
The current protection and management of the site can be considered as highly effective. The management system that is now in place supports the protection of the site’s outstanding universal value, contributes to building of local and regional networks to communicate on the site, facilitates promotion and access to the site for visitors and educates them to improve understanding of the site’s values (with, especially, the Visitor Information Centre). The international exposure is mainly achieved through the scientific publications and should be enhanced in offering services in more languages (website, guided tours) to larger audience.

Full assessment

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Finalised on
09 Nov 2017

Description of values

Record of the Middle Eocene environment

Criterion
(viii)
Single best site which contributes to the understanding of the middle part of the Eocene. Very strong contribution to explain paleofauna, paleoflora and paleoenvironment of the Eocene (IUCN, 1995), and unique record of a complex, tropical to subtropical ecosystem (with habitats extensively reconstructable in a wide variety of biotopes) from the early Tertiary (UNESCO, 1995; SoOUV, 2013; Dunne et al. 2014).

Quality of preservation

Criterion
(viii)
Particularly high quality of preservation, with complete skeletons with contours of soft part, stomach content, hairs, feathers in the case of vertebrates, conserved pigment, colouring and stomach content in the case of insects, leaves, blossoms, fruits, branches, pollen in the case of flora, bacteria (Franzen et al., 2009; IUCN, 1995; UNESCO, 1995)

Richness and diversity of fossils

Criterion
(viii)
Very rich site, containing fossils of many hundreds of species of insects, plants, also species of lake and marsh ecosystems such as birds, amphibians, reptiles and fishes and land ecosystems species such as mammals (marsupials, bats) (IUCN, 1995; SoOUV, 2013).

Early evolution of mammals

Criterion
(viii)
Documenting an early stage of the evolution of mammals (44 species are known in Messel), when many basic steps in diversifications were being achieved. Messel documents a time when mammals became firmly established in all the principal land ecosystems, and when they also re-invaded the seas (whales) and took to the air (bats). (IUCN, 1995; SoOUV, 2013)

Assessment information

Low Threat
The only current threat is from landslides of the slopes of the pit. Current monitoring system (with water drainage and a network of inclinometers) is present to follow and measure any increase of landslide-risks at the slopes A landslide of the slope of the pit may directly impact the integrity of parts of the site.
This current threat may hinder future research excavations in certain parts but it will have a very low or no impact on the World Heritage values of the site which base on its content in fossils. Thousands of fossils are already in public institutions and adequately curated, which is a guarantee of conservation of the site’s values.
Avalanches/ Landslides
Low Threat
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Climate change, and in particular heavy rain falls can affect the site. Current forecasts indicate a possible increase of climatic events such as heavy rainfalls (UNESCO, 2006; Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009). Such event may have major consequences on the integrity of the site through landslides of the slopes in the pit, but the risk is judged as low.
An active system of measurements has been installed since the 1990ies to monitor the stability of the slopes (network of inclinometers, Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009: see map p. 49; Schaal & Rabenstein, 2012)Additionally, continuous water drainage takes place to stabilize the slopes (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009). Research has been undertaken to propose measures when an increase in slides occurs (UNESCO, 2006). For stabilisation of the western slope of the pit, a slope-protection retaining structure consisting of 99 bored piles was built in the winter 2009/2010 (Dürrwang et al. 2011). This will very effectively secure this slope in the future which is important for the access of both visitors and scientific teams to the Messel pit.
Very Low Threat
Few potential threats (impact of growing tourism and of scientific activities) can only have a very low impact because they are well identified and the management system already proposed measures to make these threats very unlikely. Another threat (potential landslides) is climate-dependent and not possible to control. The current forecasts indicate a possible increase of climatic events such as heavy rainfalls that may result in landslides. The current management measures include a network of inclinometers and additional measures are proposed not only to prevent but also to control landslides and to eventually protect the integrity of the most valuable areas of the site.
Tourism/ visitors/ recreation
Very Low Threat
Inside site
, Scattered(5-15%)
With the growing number of visitors (currently about 40.000 annually, up to 100,000 annually), tourism pressure will also increase in the future and could possibly have a negative impact on the site. However this risk is a very low threat for two reasons: first the only way to descend into the pit is by guided tours; second, the number of visitors descending into the pit will be strictly controlled and will only moderately increase, with a maximum number of about 50 participants for each of the currently eight guided tours that may take place simultaneously (400 people is the maximum number of visitors at a time) (Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009); second, most of the tourists will visit the Visitor Information Centre, which is not located into the site but in its vicinity, and then will have no direct impact on the integrity of site.
Other Activities
Very Low Threat
Inside site
, Localised(<5%)
Scientific excavations take place every year from Spring to Autumn. The excavations are undertaken by permanent teams and volunteers which are mostly students.
Such frequency of excavations may have a negative impact on the integrity of the oil shale deposit. But the risk is very low due to protective and active measures undertaken by the Senckenberg Research Institute, which is responsible for the scientific activities led in the pit. The scientific excavations are strictly controlled and minimum requirements are necessary to have a granted access to the fossil-bearing oil shale sediments (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009; Wedmann & Schaal, 2010, 2011).
It is also worth noting that the annual excavations, use very little oil-shale and the volume of fossil-bearing oil shale sediments is still massive and far from being depleted.
The only current threat is from landslides of the slopes of the pit. Current management system (with a network of inclinometers) is present to follow and measure any increase of slope landslides. Few potential threats (impact of growing tourism and of scientific activities) can only have a very low impact because they are well identified and the management system already proposed measures to make these threats very unlikely.
Relationships with local people
Highly Effective
The local population is included in decision making (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009).
Legal framework
Highly Effective
The legal framework is effective in maintaining its values (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009: see 3.2).
There is no land tenure issue since the sole land owner of the Messel Pit Fossil Site is the State of Hesse (through the Hessian Ministry of Sciences and Arts, one of the key partners in the management of the site; Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009).
The legal framework is effectively enforced (perimeter fence, buffer zone, surveillance by foot patrols). (Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009)
Enforcement
Highly Effective
The site comprises a perimeter fence accessible only by authorised personnel. This fencing-off is very effective. Perimeter is kept under surveillance by foot patrols to prevent trespassing (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009). Researcher access to excavation requires an agreement.
Integration into regional and national planning systems
Highly Effective
The integration into regional and national planning systems is highly effective through an effective networks of communication and cooperation (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009). A number of stakeholders can be identified, all being involved in the management of the site: Hessian Ministry of Science and Arts, the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research and Messel Pit World Heritage Non-Profit Limited and the municipality of Messel (Messel Management Plan, 2009).
Management system
Highly Effective
The site has a management plan (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009) which identifies values, management objectives, future management outcomes and threats (e.g., tourism pressure, climate change, natural disasters).
On behalf of the state of Hesse who is the landowner, the Messel pit fossil site is operated and scientific diggings are managed by the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research, and the public relations of the site is managed by the Messel Pit World Heritage non-profit company, especially including the visitor information centre and guided tours through the pit. This is regulated via contracts of the respective society/company directly with the state of Hesse (Messel Management Plan, 2009).
The governance framework is clear and the role of every partner is clearly explained and detailed so that there is no ambiguity.
The governance and decision-making is open to scrutiny. Information is clearly presented in the Messel Pit Management Plan (2009). The plan should be updated to ensure the permanence of the management system, particularly after the opening of the visitor information centre in 2010.
Management effectiveness
Highly Effective
The management system, already considered as highly effective at the time of inscription (UNESCO, 2006) greatly improved the effective protection and management and strengthened the integrity of the site (SoOUV, 2013).
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Highly Effective
Not Applicable
Boundaries
Highly Effective
The boundaries of the site are effective to the management and protection of its values (Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009) with a highly effective fence and including a buffer zone (22.5 ha) that both enhance site protection (IUCN, 2010).
Sustainable finance
Some Concern
There is no available estimate of the level of financial resources required to ensure the effective management of the site, but financial resources seem adequate to maintain the site’s values. The existing sources of funding come from the Hessian State (227,500 euros annually to the benefit of Messel Pit) and German Federal State and Hessian State (7,553,250 euros each to the benefit of the Senckenberg). (Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009)
The resources are adequate to maintain site’s values in supporting the cost of protection and management operations such as operation of the pit and waste water treatment, security measures and slope reinforcement, etc. (Messel Pit WH Management Plan, 2009).
The visitor information Centre opened in 2010. Its operation should be covered mainly by entrance fees and guide tours. However, there is no recent information available on the sustainability of this funding sources in the long-term (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Staff training and development
Effective
The staff numbers is adequate. The Senckenberg Institution provides 6 scientific researchers, 1 preparator and 3 technical assistants (http://www.senckenberg.de). For access and promotion, the Messel Pit World Heritage Non-Profit Limited provided 6 full-time positions, 2 seasonal positions (7 months) and 1 short-term position. For the operation of the Visitor Centre, a minimum of 8-10 full-time positions for the service counter (including guided tours) are estimated. (Messel Pit WH non-profit limited, 2009; http://www.grube-messel.de/de/ueber-uns/mitarbeiter.html).
The staff receives in-house and external training for promotion, interpretation and visitor management.
The Senckenberg Institute keeps a satellite research station in Messel for scientific work and operation (Messel Pit WH non-profit limited, 2009).
The equipment and infrastructure are well maintained to guarantee the management plan. The new Visitor Information Centre offer a top quality service in the context of the management of visitors.
Sustainable use
Highly Effective
Only parts of the geological formation of oil shale containing the fossils are accessible on the surface. Most of it lies deep underground. The volume of fossil-bearing oil shale sediments is still massive and far from being depleted (Messel Pit WH non-profit limited, 2009).
Scientific excavations are limited and are under the responsibility of the Senckenberg Institution and are strictly controlled by mining regulations of the Federal Mining Law. The research permits are valid for a one year excavation period.
Resource use at present does not represent a threat to the conservation of the site.
Education and interpretation programs
Effective
There are several education, interpretation or awareness programmes that enhance the understanding of values of the site: Messel Pit World Heritage non-profit company manages the Visitor Information Centre; a website (http://www.grube-messel.de), although it is only available in German (an English version should be available shortly); flyers (see, e.g., Messel Pit WH non-profit limited, 2013); Working meetings concerning new scientific findings on the Messel Pit are organised by Senckenberg and take place annually (Wedmann & Schaal 2013) less frequent are large international scientific conferences (e.g., Lehmann and Schaal, 2011).
Tourism and visitation management
Effective
Promotion of the Messel Pit Site is managed by the Messel Pit World Heritage non-profit company. It is supported by various networks: the Global Geoparks Network, several key partners involved in the conservation and administration of the site which include local and regional institutions such as the Senckenberg Society for Nature research, Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, the Messel Museum of Fossils and Local History and the Geopark Bergstrasse-Odenwald Association.
The Messel Pit World Heritage non-profit company also manages the Visitor Information Centre which offers temporary and permanent exhibitions of fossils, exhibits on the history of the site, volcanism, climate, evolution, landscape, as well as guided tours. In addition a wide range of communication activities concerning the site are now in place (SoOUV, 2013).
Several equipments such as the viewing platform and the Visitor Information Centre have no impact on the conservation of the site. The number of visitors actually descending into Messel Pit is moderate and under strict control. Its impact on the integrity of the site is very low, especially because the only mean to visit the site if through guided tours. Each guided tour is limited to a maximum of 50 participants; currently 8 guided tours can take place simultaneously, meaning a maximum of 400 people is present at a time (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009).
The tourism is therefore managed to support protected area objectives and the integrity of the site.
Monitoring
Effective
Threats to the site’s values are constantly being monitored and management plans and decisions are adapted. For example, the stability of the slope is constantly monitored with a network of 30 inclinometers. Groundwater and rainwater are pumped away to stabilize the slopes (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009).
The scientific values of the site are adequately and constantly monitored by the Senckenberg Institution, especially through annual excavations (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009).
Research
Highly Effective
The management system of the site includes a specific research programme, notably through risk assessment, studies related to the values of the site, condition surveys, archaeological surveys, visitor management. In addition, the management system takes into account the result of studies and research programmes at the decision-making stage (Periodic reporting, 2006). Scientific research is represented mainly by the Senckenberg Society for Nature research and Hessen State Museum, Darmstadt. Many research papers in international scientific journals have been published.
The current protection and management of the site can be considered as highly effective. The management system that is now in place supports the protection of the site’s outstanding universal value, contributes to building of local and regional networks to communicate on the site, facilitates promotion and access to the site for visitors and educates them to improve understanding of the site’s values (with, especially, the Visitor Information Centre). The international exposure is mainly achieved through the scientific publications and should be enhanced in offering services in more languages (website, guided tours) to larger audience.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Highly Effective
At this time, the protection and management are highly effective in addressing threats outside the site (illegal trespassing, illegal excavations, industrial sites surrounding the site, renaturation of the site and uncontrolled growth of the vegetation). (Messel Pit WH non-profit limited, 2009)
World Heritage values

Record of the Middle Eocene environment

Good
Trend
Improving
The unique knowledge of the Middle Eocene environment provided by the Messel pit is based on the scientific investigations conducted in and on the Messel oil shale deposits and/or the included sediments. The site is particularly significant in preserving records of various communities of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial organisms, providing a unique record of a complex ecosystem from the early Tertiary. The current state of this value is improving as the site’s management and protection system against the few threats (tourism pressure, climatic events) improved during the last five years, with especially the creation of a buffer zone and the measures. Concerning the stabilisation of the western slope, recent significant results also improved our knowledge of the middle Eocene environment (e.g., Lenz et al., 2011; Wedmann and Richter, 2007, Tütken 2014) ecosystem (Labandeira et al., 2011; Tütken, 2011, Mayr & Wilde, 2017) including food web structure (Dunne et al. 2014, Smith & Scanferla 2016).

Quality of preservation

Good
Trend
Stable
This value is based on the state of preservation of fossils unearthed from the site during decades. Skeletons are often complete, with the contours of soft parts and stomach contents, and even a fetus for vertebrates (Franzen et al. 2015), conserved colouring and stomach contents for insects (e.g., McNamara et al., 2011). The exceptional preservation of fossils will leads to new findings according to the improve of analytic technics as the recent discovery of pigment remains (Colleary et al. 2015)
Fossils recovered are now adequately curated and stored in public institutions. Thanks to the methodology employed (known as ‘transfer method’; UNESCO, 1995), fossils are permanently preserved. Thanks to this methodology and to the preservation of the fossils in public institution, the value is stable.

Richness and diversity of fossils

Good
Trend
Improving
Messel is known for its record of a highly diverse flora and fauna. The flora includes one the widest varieties of early Tertiary species of leaved flora with preserved cuticle structures. Within the fauna, invertebrates outnumbered vertebrates with a significant number of insects. The vertebrate fauna included 100 identified species at the time of inscription (UNESCO, 1995). This value is improving, with a greater richness and diversity, with, for example, 132 species of vertebrates (including 45 species of mammals in 31 genera; Morlo et al., 2004) and over 20,000 specimens (Messel Pit Management Plan, 2009) representing 203 species of plants in 75 families (see Lehmann and Schaal, 2011: preface) of which 65 are of flowering plants with preserved fruits and seeds (see Collinson et al., 2011; Collinson et al. 2012). Our knowledge is greater now than five years ago (e. g. Lehmann and Schaal 2012),also regarding other taxa such as turtles (Joyce and Scheyer, 2011), fishes, squamates (Müller et al., 2011) and especially invertebrates that represent a large part of the fauna found at Messel: approximately 15,000 specimens of insects (60% are beetles) with an improving record regarding water-living insects (Wedmann and Richter, 2007; Ficacek et al 2010; Wedmann et al, 2011) and preserved colouring in moths (McNamara et al., 2011).

Early evolution of mammals

Good
Trend
Improving
The Messel Fossil Pit records a uniquely important diversification phase of the evolution of mammals, when they experienced a rapid development and became globally predominant class of animal. The site provides a sharp insight into the early phylogeny of mammals, with 40 species having been identified at the time of site’s inscription, a number that increases up to 45 nowadays (see Lehmann and Schaal, 2012; Dunne et al., 2014) belonging to 13 different orders (Rose, 2012). The recent discoveries improved the value of the site, with especially recent advances on the history of primates (Franzen, 2011; Franzen et al., 2009, 2011; Gingerich, 2011; Hurum et al., 2011; Koenigswald et al., 2011), or additional knowledge on the bats (Gunnell et al., 2011; Habersetzer and Schlosser-Sturm, 2011) or carnivors (Morlo et al., 2011).
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
Good
Trend
Improving
The site’s World Heritage values are associated with the fossil record of a unique Middle Eocene environment, including various communities of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial organisms. Recovered fossils are well preserved and stored in public institutions and the state of the site itself improved over the last five years, with the creation of a buffer zone and the measures concerning the stabilisation of the western slopes. Significant scientific results have improved our knowledge about the middle Eocene environment. Our knowledge is greater now than five years ago regarding taxa such as turtles, fishes, squamates and especially invertebrates. Advances in the history of primates and carnivores have contributed to the importance of the site for the studying the evolution of mammals. Recent works highlight our knowledge of the trophic structure of this Eocene Ecosystem and provide advances in the scope of taphonomic studies.

Additional information

Outdoor recreation and tourism
The site is already relatively important for tourism. Since 1997, a visitor observation platform with text panels about the history and developments of the site has been on site and open to the public. There are no definite statistics available, but this platform has had 212,000 visitors since 2004. To improve this benefit, one needs a wider regional integration of the Messel Fossil Pit site and maybe an improvement of the relationships/connection with other touristic sites of the Global Geopark Bergstrasse-Odenwald.
Importance for research,
Contribution to education
The site is an important resource for building knowledge and for educating, through the Visitor Information Centre now in place. Unfortunately data are not sufficient to adequately evaluate this benefit. Seven years after its opening, the number of annual visitors is estimated at about 40.000 currently. The Visitor Information Centre welcomes a wide range of visitors and aims at, among other objectives, presenting exhibitions on evolution and geo-diversity, proposing lectures, brochures, internet access, development of a didactic approach for the mediation of the Messel Pit WH Site. Along the year, the WH Messel Pit coordinates and offers a large number of guided tours, offers training of teachers and tours for schools, kindergartens or groups. Data are also missing regarding measures to be taken by stakeholders to better promote and ease public access to the site: improvement of the signage to the site, extension of access road, visitor facilities.
Key benefits of the site include tourism, knowledge building and education. Data are lacking for a pertinent evaluation of the importance of the site for education and building knowledge. The value of the site as a recreation place is real, but difficult to evaluate in detail in the absence of accurate data.
Organization/ individuals Project duration Brief description of Active Projects
1 Senckenberg Society for Nature Research Investigation and reconstruction of the Eocene Lake Messel: excavation and preparation, geology, paleobiology, digital media, X-Ray applications, documentation of Messel and the fossil collection.
2 Senckenberg Society for Nature Research Research Portal, where scientists can introduce their projects on Messel Pit. The portal is restricted to scientists who have registered with the SGN.
Site need title Brief description of potential site needs Support needed for following years
1 N.A. Need for translation of the internet website www.grube-messel.de, at this time only available in German. Shall be at least in English, and even in French and other languages.
2 N.A. Impact of the tourism after the building of the Visitor Information Centre, in term of conservation/protection of the site and implication for the local community.
3 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturkunde A list of the animal and plant species which can be found in the area of Messel Fossil Pit area (a future project of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturkunde).
4 Visitor Information Centre Periodic review of activities should be planned for the Visitor Information Centre.

References

References
1 <http://www.grube-messel.de&gt;. Accessed 10 February 2014.
2 Colleary, C., Dolocan, A., Gardner, J., Singh, S., Wuttke, M., Rabenstein, R., Habersetzer, J., Schaal, S., Feseha, M., Clemens, M., Jacobs, B. F., Currano, E. D., Jacobs, L. L., Sylvestersen, R. L., Gabbott, S. E. and Vinther, J. V. (2015). Chemical, experimental, and morphologial evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 : 12592–12597.
3 Collinson, M.E, Smith, S.Y., Manchester, S.R., Wilde, V. and Howard, L.E. (2011). ‘The value of X-ray approaches in study of the Messel fruit and seed flora’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 38-39. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
4 Collinson, ME., Manchester, SR., Wilde, V. (2012). Fossil fruits and seeds of the Middle Eocene Messel biota, Germany. Abh Senckenberg Ges Naturforsch 570: 1–251
5 Dunne, J.A., C.C., Labandeira, and R. J. Williams. (2014). Highly resolved early Eocene food webs show development of modern trophic structure after the end- Cretaceous extinction. Proceedings of the Royal Society 281: 20133280.
6 Dürrwang, R., Vogel, H, Aderhold, G. 2011 Rutschungssanierung mittels Großbohrpfählen am Beispiel Weltnaturerbe Grube Messel bei Darmstadt In: Tagungsband der DGGT. Tagungsband der 18. Tagung für Ingenieurgeologie und Forum für junge Ingenieurgeologen, 16.-19. März 2011, TU Berlin. Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin, Berlin 283-289
7 Fikacek, M., Wedmann, S. & Schmied, H. (2010). Diversification of the of the greater hydrophilines clade of giant water scavenger beetles dated back to the Middle Eocene (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae: Hydrophilina). Invertebrate Systematics 24, 9-22.
8 Franzen, J.L. (2011). ‘Strepsirrhine or haplorhine?’ In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 59-60. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
9 Franzen, J.L., Gingerich, P.D., Habersetzer, J., Hurum, J.H., Koenigswald, W. von and Smith, B.H. (2009). ‘Complete primate skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and paleobiology’. PLoS ONE 4:e5723.
10 Franzen, JL., Aurich, C., Habersetze,r J. (2015). Description of a Well Preserved Fetus of the European Eocene Equoid Eurohippus messelensis. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0137985.
11 Gingerich, P.D. (2011). ‘Primates in the Eocene’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 67-68. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
12 Gunnell, G.F., Habersetzer, J., Schlosser-Sturm, E., Simmons, N.B. and Smith T. (2011). ‘Primitive chiropteran teeth – The complete dentition of the Messel bat Archaeonycteris trigonodon’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 73-76. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
13 Habersetzer, J. and Schlosser-Sturm, E. (2011). ‘Morphological specializations of the shoulder joints in extant and fossil bats’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 77-78. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
14 Hurum, J.H., Habersetzer, J. and Schlosser-Sturm, E. (2011). ‘Cranial morphology of the Eocene primate Darwinius masillae’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 84. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
15 IUCN (1995) ‘World Heritage Nomination – IUCN Summary and Technical Evaluation. Messel Pit Fossil Site (Germany)’
16 IUCN (2010) ‘World Heritage Nomination – IUCN Technical Evaluation. Messel Pit Fossil Site (Germany) – ID n°720’. In: IUCN (ed.) IUCN Evaluations of Nominations of Natural and Mixed Properties to the World Heritage List, pp. 124-126. Retrieved 20 January 2014, <http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2010/whc10-34com-inf.8B2e.pdf…;
17 Joyce, W.G. and Scheyer, T.M. (2011). ‘The taphonomic settings of the Eocene Messel Pit, Germany’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 87-88. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
18 Koenigswald, W. von, Habersetzer, J. and Gingerich, P.D. (2011). ‘Morphology and evolution of the distal phalanges in primates’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 91-94. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
19 Labandeira, C.C., Dunne, J.A. and Williams, R.J. (2011). ‘The Messel food web’. In: T. Lehmann and S.F.K. Schaal (eds) The World at the Time of Messel: Puzzles in paleobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early Primates. 22nd International Senckenberg Conference. 15th-19th November 2011, Frankfurt am Main. Conference Volume, pp. 95-97. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
20 Lehmann, T & Schaal, S. F. K. (2012): “Messel and the terrestrial Eocene” – Proceedings of the 22nd Senckenberg Conference. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 92: 397-402.
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