Daohugou Biota Offers Many Clues about Evolution

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Vertebrates-of-the-Daohugou-Biota-250x250A fossil assemblage known as the “Daohugou Biota” offers a window into life on earth approximately 160 million years ago. Located in and around the region of Inner Mongolia, China, this incomparable fossil find dates back to an important time during evolution. A description of what paleontologists deem a “virtual paradise of fossils” can be found in a recent issue of the science journal “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.” There is also a science article featured on Discovery News.

Aside from the size of the collection, the thing that sets the fossils discovered at The Daohugou Biota apart from other discoveries is the variety of animals that lived during the middle to late Jurassic Period which have not been seen during the stages found in this collection. In addition to the “quirky little creatures,” there are also complete and nearly complete skeletons that still have soft tissue preserved. Skin, feathers and fur are also still found on some. This discovery shows us how the early amphibians and other animal species evolved into the species found later on.

Another fossil collection, The Jehol Biota, dates 30 million years later than this more recent find. Whereas this discovery shed light on animal life during the Cretaceous Period, the new Jurassic discovery is considered to be just as fossil-rich, with similar importance. In addition, the find gives scientists the opportunity to compare finds from the two and determine more about how the animals changed over time. Among the fossils, the feathered dinosaurs are among those that scientists find most intriguing.

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