Dragonfly fossil, about 150 million years old, in Solnhofen, Bavaria, Germany
© Ingo Arndt/Minden Picture
In praise of the old…the very old
What better way to honor National Fossil Day than with this amazing dragonfly! It's rare to find one in such exquisite condition, but this one was discovered in Solnhofen, Germany, where limestone deposits preserved some of the most detailed fossils ever found—including the birdlike dinosaur called Archaeopteryx. This dragonfly was preserved in the Solnhofen limestone about 150 million years ago in the Jurassic Period. It measures about 5.5 inches across.
Back here in the United States we're marking the 11th annual National Fossil Day, hosted by the National Park Service. It's the perfect time to unleash your inner paleontologist. Fossils are often discovered on public lands like national parks, so park rangers, scientists, and educators typically use this day to share how fossils can help us understand what life looked like on an ancient Earth. Even if some events this year can't be held in person, take a moment to look at fossil images online, or read up on the latest fossil news.