Mother Earth Day in the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark
The COVID-19 pandemic will restrict Mother Earth Day events to partly closed and partly online programs in our geopark this year.
The excavations and scientific studies of the site are ongoing with new discoveries and huge potentials. Even the achievements and the history of its research of the last 180 years is a valuable heritage of the geosciences.
The scientific research of the area started in 1836 by Ferenc Kubinyi at the giant petrified pine.
It was H. Böck, who, at the base of the giant tree, originally discovered the prehistoric animal footprints in 1900. In the 1920’s, 30’s and 60’s F. Nopcsa, and later Tasnádi also enriched the Institute’s collections by excavating more footprints (Tasnádi, 1976).
Analysis of the footprints started immediately after their discovery, and it was known a hundred years ago that there were tracks of rhinoceroses, ungulates and birds.
The first scientific description of the footprints happened in 1935, in a book by O. Abel, who identified footprints of a rhinoceros, a proboscidean, cervids, an ancestral triungulate horse, a large carnivore as well as birds. Following the studies of Tasnádi, the “Ipolytarnóc” monograph of Geologica Hungarica series Palaeontologica was issued in 1985, for the Regional Committee on Mediterranean Neogene Stratigraphy (RCMNS) congress, where L. Bartkó published the geological setup, L. Hably reconstructed the fossil flora and L. Kordos identified 11 animal species based on all footprints known at the time. The taxonomic analysis of the Ipolytarnóc footprints was carried out simultaneously, and in competition, between the Hungarian Kordos (1985) and the Soviet Vialov (1985, 1986). Based on the priorities, 11 animal species were identified, all of which were new to science.
Despite the focused attention of the Neogene Congress of 1985 on Ipolytarnoc, no further development enhanced the site’s recognition till the end of the century.
In 2013 new methods were introduced focusing on shallow traces and remapping of the fossil tracks. Up to the present (2018) more than 40 vertebrate ichnotaxa have been identified, now including amphibians and reptiles, too.