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. We will define Lagerstätte.


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

A Phrase for Every Occasion

The German language seems to have a word for just about everything, a phrase for every occasion. Perhaps, it has more scope and depth than English, we at Everything Dinosaur are probably not best placed to comment as we would not call ourselves experts on European languages. Could English lack certain broad and all-inclusive linguistic qualities that other languages seem to possess? We hope that we don’t sound upset over the inadequacies of our native tongue, no sense of “schadenfreude” from us.

Lyme Regis on the Dorset Coast – An Example of a Lagerstätte

Prospecting for fossils (Lyme Regis) - Lagerstätte.

Looking for fossils at Lyme Regis. The marine deposits date from the Lower Jurassic along this stretch of the Dorset coast and the strata is typical of a Lagerstätte. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur stocks a range of replicas of iconic fossil animals known from the extensive fossil record of the Dorset “Jurassic Coast”. The range includes models of belemnites, nautiloids and ammonites.

To view this range: Replicas of Fossil Animals Including Dinosaur Teeth.