Home > Visiting and discovering > HistoryThe paleontological slab of la Lieude

The paleontological slab of la Lieude

 

A long time before water flooded the Salagou valley in the 1960s, when the dam was inaugurated at the lake Salagou, extraordinary creatures crawled across the lands of the region.

Not only dinosaur but also pre-mammalian footprints have been found around the lake. Some of them date from 400 years ago. The paleontological site at la Lieude, which is protected by a building, is also surrounded by fencing so as to preserve the footprints.

At first the slab was horizontal; today it leans by 20°. 260 million years ago animals left footprints in a swamp land that was drying out, a million footprints. The tracks cross, but there is nothing to prove that they met. As the site is very well-preserved it shows that in the Permian times biodiversity reigned in the area.

The « hands » and « feet » of these animals tell us a lot about their morphology. The largest footprints (almost 12 inches) would have belonged to pre-mammalian reptiles. It is difficult to attribute the other footprints to known species; these reptiles thus preserve a great party of their mystery …

For more information http://lieude.dalle.free.fr/

Pictures

Pre-mammalian imprints on the site of la Lieude - JPEG - 149 kb
Pre-mammalian imprints on the site of la Lieude

Crédit APNHC

3 pre-mammalian imprints on the site of la Lieude - JPEG - 214.1 kb
3 pre-mammalian imprints on the site of la Lieude

Crédit APNHC

Paleontological site of la Lieude at Mérifons - JPEG - 113.6 kb
Paleontological site of la Lieude at Mérifons

Crédit KELOUS

Site of la Lieude, from the west - JPEG - 149.4 kb
Site of la Lieude, from the west

Crédit APNHC

 

Outils