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CUG Team Discovers Guiyang Biota from 250.8 Million Years Ago

Feb 13, 2023  

A CUG team led by Prof. SONG Haijun, with other research institutions from home and abroad, published “A Mesozoic fossil lagerstätte from 250.8 million years ago shows a modern-type marine ecosystem” in Science on February10, 2023. The Guiyang Biota, which is an fossil, demonstrates the rapid rise of modern-type marine ecosystems after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. The first author is Dr. DAI Xu and Prof. SONG is the corresponding author.

Some of the fossils of the Guiyang Biota

Taxonomic composition and species richness of the main Triassic biotas

Artistic reconstruction of the Guiyang Biota (illustration by YANG Dinghua)

This is the comment from the reviewer of the paper: the Triassic recovery of life from the devastating end-Permian mass extinction was an amazing period of evolution. Whether biodiversity had to rebuild from near annihilation or from refugia is a matter of conjecturebut recovery heralded the development of recognizably modern ecosystems. Dai et al. present examples of diverse fishes, ammonoids, bivalves, protists, and malacostracan arthropods from a fossil site dated approximately 1 million years after the crisis. These fossil assemblages, particularly the presence of vertebrate predators, reveal a surprisingly early diversity of animals after the end-Permian mass extinction.

(Edited and translated from the Chinese version)

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