Monday, June 13, 2011

Stuttgart - the last days

Before heading north I did one last installment of paleo-tourism in Baden-Württemburg. The first site was fairly typical of the region - the cement quarry in Dotternhausen (nothing says tourism like a cement quarry). The company that owns the quarry sponsors a small museum. My favourite part was the mural modified from Henry de la Beche's Duria Antiquior - but I don't remember the plesiosaur in the original looking quite so much like a duck.

Dotternhausen mural - awesome in so many ways
The second trip was to the Bärenhöhle, a large cave system in the Schwäbische Alb. It is famous for the large number of cave bear skeletons (Pleistocene) that have been excavated from it. Sorry closet Clan of the Cave Bear fans, no human remains found at this site.
Mounted cave bear skeleton - Bärenhöhle

It's now a protected site, because the popular thing to do back in the day was grind the bones up for fertilizer. I'm a bit mystified as to why the bears liked to live there, since it's a pretty deep cave and therefore quite chilly (and the bear bones are a long way from the entrance), but not being an ice age mammal I guess I can't really relate. Onwards, to Berlin!

Cenotaph of ammonites, Schloss Lichtenstein

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