|Stock image "Dinosaur Fossil" by PANPOTE / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
China’s famous Cretaceous wonderland in Liaoning Province—the Jehol Biota—is apparently sitting atop a gold mine of similarly well-preserved Middle-Upper Jurassic fossils. A team of paleontologists has just compiled a catalogue of the vertebrate fossils from six sites in this stratum and published the list in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. They suggest the entire group, similar in age and ecology, be henceforth known as the Daohugou Biota. Daohugou is an Inner Mongolian village near the first of these fossil beds to be found. All six of the fossil-rich sites are in northeastern China’s Tiaojishan Formation.
“The Daohugou Biota gives us a look at a rarely glimpsed side of the Middle to Late Jurassic—not a parade of galumphing giants, but an assemblage of quirky little creatures like feathered dinosaurs, pterosaurs with ‘advanced’ heads on ‘primitive’ bodies, and the Mesozoic equivalent of a flying squirrel,” says lead author Corwin Sullivan. Coauthor Yuan Wang adds, “The Daohugou amphibians are crucially important in the study of the phylogeny and early radiation of modern amphibian groups.”You can read the rest at "Thirty Million Years Didn’t Really Change China’s Jurassic Park".