The discovery of a treasure trove of fossils in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on Wednesday could fill in gaps in scientists’ understanding of when and where some Jurassic era dinosaurs lived, experts say.
The local authorities said on Wednesday that a “fossil wall” has been discovered in Yunyang county that stretches for 150 meters, is two meters thick and around eight meters high, and contains at least 17 distinct groups of fossils, the China News Service reported.
The fossil wall may well stretch down 20 meters underground, but this will require further exploration to confirm, the authorities said.
Experts said that the fossils come from different parts of the Jurassic era, which covers the period from 199 million to 145 million years ago, and the findings belong to at least five dinosaur subgroups and a variety of other reptilian groups.
They explained that many of these creatures were not related to one another, speculating that some of the fossils may have been carried to the area from somewhere else by natural forces such as landslides, said the report.
There had been few discoveries of dinosaur fossils from the earlier parts of the Jurassic era, a key period for dinosaur evolution, prior to the Chongqing excavation, Xu Xing, a researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the China News Service.
Xu said that this find will help fill in huge gaps in our understanding of this period.
Fossils were first discovered in the area in 2015 by locals, and the authorities established a geological park on the site in May to protect the fossils and facilitate their study, according to the report. — (Global Times)
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