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Do rocks and fossils hold clues that demand millions-of-years? Not the fossils from China's Daohugou beds. On the contrary, their clues speak to more recent origins.
Accessible from several outcrops northeast of Beijing, fossil hunters have been unpacking a trove over the last few decades, including some of the best-preserved insect and other arthropod fossils, as well as both familiar and unfamiliar vertebrate fossils.
When were they deposited? Authors of an extensive review of Daohugou vertebrate fossils, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, wrote, "Following the discovery of this locality, conflicting opinions rapidly emerged as to the age and correlative relationships of the Daohugou strata."
The study authors cited peer-reviewed reports that assigned Daohugou layers to Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic, and even Lower Cretaceous—a span of about 40 million years in conventional thinking. If these fossils contain clear clues about when they were deposited, then why would researchers propose these conflicting opinions on their ages?You can read the rest of the stone-cold facts at "How (Not) to Date a Fossil".