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Fossils

Dragonfly fossil

This is a fossil of an ancient dragonfly of the Libellulium species. Libellulium was a dragonfly that lived during the Jurassic period, roughly 150 million years ago. The fossil of this long-extinct flying insect was found in Solnhofen Limestone from Bavaria, Germany. When the creature died its body was preserved in the salty water until it became covered by fine mud, which over millions of years turned to rock.

Conservators often view objects in raking light to show small surface defects such as flaking paint on oil paintings, tears and mends on paper or lifting veneers on furniture. When light is shining directly on an object, small impressions in the surface look flat and show little detail. Raking light shone at a low angle casts strong shadows and shows up detail clearly, like the detail of the dragonfly's wings.

Accession number 42.15.QX

Boxed fossil

This fossil of a fish was found in Solnhofen Limestone from Bavaria, Germany. When the creature died its body was preserved in the salty water until it became covered by fine mud, which over millions of years turned to rock. The fossil was boxed in 1884 to go on loan to schools. It was one of many specimens prepared in this way. World Museum Liverpool was the first museum to have a schools loan service.

Accession number SCH.F.402