Home   Area riservata
IT
  EN  
FR
 
DE

Deposit of Osteno

Italia, Regione Lombardia, provincia di Como, Claino con Osteno

Positioning

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   724913 N   96714 H   340.0
(WGS 84) Long.   9.051 Lat.   46.010
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY EEA-T6
SCIENTIFIC INTEREST PRIMARY:
Sedimentology, Paleontology

SECONDARY:
Stratigraphie
OTHER INTERESTS Landscape
GEOSITE   PALEONTOLOGICAL - fossils of invertebrates

DESCRIPTION

In 1964, paleontologist Giovanni Pinna discovered a fossil deposit, destined to be known around the world for its palaeontological content, which was of exceptional scientific interest. The features which distinguished this deposit were both the great variety of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates found in it, and the perfect conservation of the organisms. The stratigraphic level which constitutes the deposit is represented by six metres of Moltrasio Limestone (Early Jurassic – circa 190 million years ago) emerging from the Cava del Quaglietto, above Osteno, and at three quarries (Porto Franco), near the shores of Lake Lugano. Here paleontologists found a new species never seen before, and to which, in honor of the location of the discovery, was given the name of Ostenocaris Cypriformis.

INSIGHT

In 1964, paleontologist Giovanni Pinna discovered a fossil deposit in which special paleoenvironmental conditions had allowed a particular, almost perfect, fossilization of not only rigid structures (exoskeletons) but also of the soft body parts of many organisms. The stratigraphic level in question emerges near the Quaglietto Quarry of Osteno, and then crosses above the town and continues on to Porto Franco near three contiguous cavities. Made up of a six-metre-thick lens, the interior of the formation of Moltrasio Limestone (Early Jurassic – circa 190 million years ago) has attracted numerous excavations which have allowed the recognition and classification of different species of marine fauna (vertebrates and invertebrates) and many plants. The find which made this deposit famous was the discovery of complete specimens of a new class of Tilacocefali with characteristics similar to crustaceans and identified by paleontologists as the Ostenocaris Cypriformis in honor of the locality of its recognition.

CURIOSITIES

The deposit was discovered in a completely accidental and fortuitous way. In 1964, Mr. Pio Mariani, who was near Albogasio, noticed that in the pillars of the front door of a house two beautiful, perfectly preserved fossilized crustaceans were cemented. The house was owned by the proprietor of the “Cava del Dulio”, near Saint Margaret, along the eastern shore of Lake Lugano in the area known as the Grotto del Doglio, just west of Porto Franco and a short distance from the town of Osteno. In 1965, the discovery was reported to the paleontologist Giovanni Pinna, who went there in the same year, when the quarries were still active, recovering material of exceptional scientific value and giving rise to decades of intensive study of the finds made there.
scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

The site is accessible only by boat. The former quarry area is very dangerous and is not recommended for access.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

Museo val Sanagra
http://www.museovalsanagra.it/

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano
http://www.comune.milano.it/dseserver/webcity/Documenti.nsf/webHomePage?OpenForm&settore=MCOI-6C5J9V_HP

Museo dei fossili intelvesi
http://www.comune.lanzodintelvi.co.it/sa/sa_p_testo.php?x=&idservizio=7&idtesto=27&idfoto=3&fogliaClick=root1_0&fnode=0#0

project | contacts | links | partners
Programma di cooperazione transfrontaliera Italia - Svizzera 2007 - 2013 Progetto cofinanziato dal Fondo Europeo Sviluppo Regionale (FESR)
Le opportunità non hanno confini.