The sands in the Sprendlingen and Eppelsheim areas contain numerous fossils and were often the subject of scientific debates. Böhme: "For this reason we examined a new sample with over 300 mammalian fossils, leaves and fossilized wood. We found the teeth and bones of different deer species that lived in Central Europe at the beginning of the Middle Miocene - in other words, in the period between 14 and 16 million years ago." For 200 years, the fossils in these famous Deinotherium Sands were considered by vertebrate palaeontologists to be the yardstick for the Neogene: the time span between 23 million and 2.5 million years ago. The sites became famous for the first ever discovery of a fossil ape (1822) and the first scientific descriptions of 19 large mammal species in the early 19th century.