2.5" Fossil Dragonfly (Tharsophlebia?) - Solnhofen Limestone

This is a 2.5" long fossil dragonfly (Tharsophlebia exima?) from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of Germany. Complete fossil dragonflies are fairly rare finds in this formation and there are several species present.

This particular specimen has quite a bit of relief against the rock. The wings are folded in towards the body but it would have had a wingspan of about 3.5". It's nicely presented on a small, rectangularly cut slab of limestone.

The Solnhofen limestone is a famous Upper Jurassic Lagerstätte in Germany. It is where one of the most famous fossils of all time, Archaeopteryx, was found. The fine-grained limestone makes excellent building materials, which has led to heavy quarrying over the past two centuries, resulting in some spectacular fossils being unearthed including fossil dragonflies, fish, pterosaurs, shrimp, horseshoe crabs, etc.

This area represented an archipelago at the edge of a sea. Due to high salt content, the lowest levels in the water column could not support much life and were largely devoid of oxygen. This lack of oxygen and scavengers on the bottom of the sea led to beautiful fossil preservation.

Tharsophlebia exima?
Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany
Solnhofen Limestone
2.5" long, 4.6 x 3.5" rock
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