The large quantity of fossils found in our mountains date back millions of years and tell the story of how life evolved, of monumental mountains that used to be tropical seas and coral reefs. The natural history museums of our region allow us to get a closer look at these findings and learn about their history through the exhibited collections. The educational activities simulate methods of research, as in the case of the Montebelluna Civic Museum.
Many of these fossils are unique: some of the oldest known drops of amber are embedded in a finding kept in Cortina; among other things, the Selva di Cadore Museum contains a cast of fossilized footprints of a dinosaur found on Mount Pelmetto. And the collection of crab fossils kept at the Montecchio Maggiore Museum is extremely interesting as well.
But of course the most famous Venetian paleontological site is Bolca, near the famous Fossils Museum. This site has been known about since the sixteenth century for the quantity and quality of its fossils, some of which are kept in the Civic Natural History Museum of Verona.
In addition to these actual fossils you will find other treasures here, closer to us in time but just as evocative: mammoths (one is preserved in the Crocetta del Montello Museum; cave bears and many other findings associated with prehistoric animals.
Travel and adventure lovers will also enjoy the findings on display from around the world, particularly in the Paleontological Museum of the University of Padua and the Natural History Museum of Venice where young visitors are always fascinated by the skeleton of the Ouranosaurus and the skeleton of a huge frightening ancestor of the crocodile: these are precious donations from the Fondazione Ligabue.