Definition of the Term Lagerstätte

By | April 10th, 2008|Geology, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

The Term Lagerstätte Defined

Readers of books about fossils and dinosaur discoveries may come across the term “Lagerstätte”.  In answer to a number of questions received by Everything Dinosaur blog visitors, team members will briefly outline what the term Lagerstätte means.

This is a German phrase from the words Lager (which means storage) and Stätte (which means place).  It refers to a deposit of sedimentary strata that contains a lot of fossil material that is exceptionally well preserved.  There are a number of Lagerstätten (plural) known, from the famous Burgess Shale deposits of British Columbia, the Mazon Creek Formation (Carboniferous strata) in Illinois, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone deposits from southern Germany and the Cretaceous fossil deposits of the Liaoning and Hebei Provinces of north-eastern China.

Typical Fossils from a “Lagerstätte”

Some belemnite guard fossils, the coin shows scale.

Belemnite guard fossils from the “Jurassic Coast”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur