Museo civico dei fossili
The Museo Civico dei Fossili di Besano is home to a wonderful and unique collection of fossils that were collected in the rocks outcropping in the mountains surrounding Besano, one of the most classic paleontological sites in Italy. The fossils of Besano have been studied by paleontologist from all over the world since the first of 19th century, as they include a great variety of species of terrestrial plants, invertebrates, fishes and both terrestrial and marine reptiles. The fossiliferous rocks of Besano are Middle Triassic in age (about 235 million years ago); the Triassic Period represent the first part of the Mesozoic Era, during which dinosaurs, pterosaurs and ichthyosaurs made their appearance along with turtles and crocodiles. The exhibits of the Museum were recently completely renovated and uptodated. In five exhibit halls the most exceptional findings are displayed, most of which were collected during excavations carried on in Besano over the last twenty five years. Among them is the impressive and unique, complete skeleton of the large ichthyosaur Besanosaurus leptorhynchus. The specimen is about 6 metres long. So far largest complete Mesozoic reptile ever found in Italy. The Museum also features a small laboratory for educational activities, and a special area is designed for the projection of a video explaining the history of paleontological discoveries and excavations in Besano. The design of exhibits, field excavations, and scientific research are pursued in collaboration with the Paleontological Department of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano.