5.6" Fossil Dragonfly (Cymatophlebia?) - Solnhofen Limestone

This is a large, 5.6" wide fossil dragonfly (Cymatophlebia sp.?) from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of Germany. Complete fossil dragonflies are rare finds in this formation and there are several species present. This one is nicely detailed and presented on an unbroken, 9.3 x 9.1" slab of limestone. There is a little bit of restoration to the bottom of the wings near the tips on the left hand side.

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 material, which has led to heavy quarrying over the past two centuries. In the process, some spectacular fossils were unearthed, including fossil dragonflies, fish, pterosaurs, shrimp, horseshoe crabs, and many more.

This area represents an ancient 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.

Cymatophlebia sp.?
Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany
Solnhofen Limestone
5.6" wingspan, 3.7" long, 9.3 x 9.1" rock
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