Igue de CrégolsIgue de Crégols
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Geology and Paleontology

Lost worlds

When the limestone plateaus of Quercy make it possible to read a large part of the history of the Earth.

Here, the Causses du Quercy tell the story of 200 million years of life on our mother earth. Did you know that in the Jurassic period, instead of these vast landscapes, there was a tropical lagoon that had nothing to envy to the Bahamas !

Since the sea has definitely retreated, many climatic changes have taken place. The Causses du Quercy followed these changes and were successively transformed into tropical forest, savannah, and again into icy steppe walked by mammoths. Our subsoil has kept in memory these great changes and allows us today to read a part of the history of the Earth.

Geological stories

Have you ever heard of phosphatières ? It is a hole in which we find phosphate, an exceptional fertilizer, but also a deposit of fossils. There are more than a hundred of these “phosphate holes” in Quercy. At Cloup d’Aural, the most emblematic of them, you can go down into a narrow canyon, where ferns grow straight out of the dinosaur era. Below, “cadurcothère”, nicknamed the “wild beast of Cahors” is waiting to greet you…

Water has also played a role in shaping the natural heritage of the Causses du Quercy. Over geological time, she has sculpted stone, both on the surface and in depth.
From the cliffs of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie to the cirque of Vènes, through the igues (chasms) of Aujols and Crégols, geology is everywhere !

Unexpected discoveries

Want to explore the underworld? The Causses du Quercy are full of cavities suitable for speleology. Whatever your level, embark on a magical discovery of the karstic massif seen from the inside to learn more about the legends of the underground environment. The professionals of the territory will share their passion with you, during an introductory exploration.