Saturday, March 30, 2019

New Fossil Site Discovered in China Brings Boundless Potential For Evolution And Discovery

Article Written By: Bright Li


Image Credit: Dongjing Fu

      As reported in the Journal of Science, a new fossil site of the Cambrian period has been recently discovered by Dr. Dongjing Fu and his colleagues from Northwest University, Guizhou University, and Pomona College in China called the Qingjiang Biota. This discovery is opening up vast potential for discoveries in evolution.

      The Cambrian period, which was roughly 500 million years ago, had a massive explosion of life marking a critical period for the discovery of not only the first simple organism but evolution itself.

      Past sites have been discovered representing Cambrian periods include the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang locations, where extremely well-preserved soft bodies organisms were found. In many cases, these specimens rarely make it to general fossils, but none have the sheer quantity and quality of the newly discovered Qingjiang site.

      The Qingjiang site, located by the Danshui River in the Hubei province in China, includes near perfect preserved soft-bodied organisms including juvenile or larval forms, arthropod/worm cuticles, and jellyfishes. Furthermore, 53 organisms were identified as completely new to science and are still waiting to be named.

      Quoted from Dr. Dongjing Fu, “The discovery promises to shed light on the evolution of Cambrian ecosystems across space and time. Nowhere do have a more pristine fossil record of early Cambrian life and such a diversity of organisms — and this is just the beginning.”

Written and condensed by B.Li

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