Connecting the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today.



Featured Fossil


This page will feature fossils from all geological time periods. Each image will have

some background about the specimen, its age, where it was found, and a nugget

of interesting information. Not every specimen will be perfectly preserved -

but all are a marvel of the natural world!


Fossil bat from Messel, Germany

Fossil Type:





Messel Lake


Eocene Epoch


Messel, Germany


Messel is a lake deposit with paper-thin shale containing unusually well-preserved fossils, probably within a volcanic caldera laced with poisonous vapors. This ancient bat shows features typical of modern species. It had the ability to echo-locate – probably feeding on caddisflies and moths living in and around the German jungles. Fossil is 6 cm wide. From our 2004 "More than Dinosaurs" exhibit featuring the collection of Dr. Jack Hankla.

Date Posted:

September 12, 2014

Archived Featured Fossils

How to Submit a Featured Fossil

Created April 12, 2012