Mihai's Paleobotany Chronicles


The Polytechnics Subway station (Statia de metrou Politehnica) is a unique site in Bucharest due to its Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) red nodular limestones extremely rich in rudists, belonging to genera such as Vaccinites, Hippurites and Radiolites. These bivalves are lavishly recorded in polished sections along the subway station's pavement, in cross, oblique or longitudinal sections. Such sections reveal entire series of rudist generations, following one on the top of the others, in areas covered by these animals, such as thickets, blanckets, arranged in the central and lateral areas of large rudist buildups. These rudists accumulations occur in situ, with individuals densely conected laterally, over older generations. Actually, an entire rudist buildup had been sectioned and polished for the Polytechnics station's pavement, a paleoecological reconstruction of such a rare, extinct reef being possible. Together with the rudists, the polished sections reveal red calcareous algae, stromatolites, rare corals and gastropods. The open cast mine where the slabs occurred is most probably located in Gilau Mountains, Transylvania.

The station is highly significant from several points of view: scientific, as the reef buildup is excellently polished in its whole structure, educational, as people can study it very easily, and aestetic, as the pavement is indeed beautiful. Practical works are permanently given right in the subway station, in Principles of Ecology and General Geology, for undergraduate students in Geology, Biology and Geography, a perfect place to learn and understand an extinct biocenosis coeval with the last dinosaurs.

Photogallery on Flickr

Video introduction

Popa, M.E., 2000. The Polytechnics subway station: rudists in the heart of Bucharest. Acta Palaeontologica Romaniae, 2: 391-396.

Popa, M. E. (2012). "The Polytechnics subway station in Bucharest: a unique paleontological site and a challenging museum." Drobeta, Seria Stiintele Naturii 22: 17-21.