'Stunning' treasure trove of thousands of undiscovered fossils including 50 previously unknown species are found in China that could reveal new details about early life on Earth
Thousands of newly discovered fossils of showing stunning detail of sea organisms have been unearthed in China.
They represent a range of species that lived as far back as 518 million years ago, during a time where there was a surge in lifeforms on Earth.
These new finds could reveal new details early life during that period which is known as the Cambrian Explosion, say scientists.
Amongst the fossils, primitive forms of jellyfish, sponges, anemones, worms, algae, tiny invertebrates called kinorhynchs or mud dragons and arthropods were found.
Scientists believe the rocks show what was in a mudslide that took place more than 500 million years ago when life on Earth experienced a massive burst of diversity in life forms known as the Cambrian explosion.
The 4,351 separate fossils excavated so far include 101 species, with 53 of them previously unknown to scientists.
More than 50 per cent of the discoveries are thought to be previously unknown species, the study published in the journal Science on Thursday.
Unlike other Cambrian fossil troves, the Qingjiang site is unique in that it not only includes well-preserved fossils but soft-bodied organisms as well, the study states.
According to the authors, the unique aspects of Qingjiang have the potential to greatly inform the understanding of early animal evolution.
Researchers say the discovery in China may rival previous fossil hauls, such as the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in 1909, Chengjiang in China and Emu Bay Shale in Australia.
The site in Burgess dates back to 508 million years ago and includes well-preserved fossils that show evidence of animal's skin, eyes, gut and brains.
Scientists will be studying the recent Chinese discoveries to try and work out what they can reveal about early life on earth.
MikeeSpice, Midlands, United Kingdom, 2 days ago
How are they undiscovered? Somebody took the photos of them!
Scotty Chambers, Maryland , United States, 3 days ago
The Bible tells how the earth started lol not really
imisschelsy, Sydney, Equatorial Guinea, 4 days ago
Oh no... Hope it's all guarded properly.
Gav, The Fens, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
So a very secretive country has found some stuff.......ok
Dorsetness, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
What time is the bank open as I'd like to have a look.
Edwardo Sansabar, Fort Awesome, United States, 4 days ago
The mythical Chinese mud dragon, the stories were true!!!!
Marisa, Durham, United States, 4 days ago
No need to go to |China to see fossils. Try The White House.
uncle Bob, intercourse, United States, 4 days ago
Evolutionary theory requires vast amounts of time and thus struggles to explain the Cambrian explosion because it happened way too fast.
whitep, Colchester, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
Half of me feels like its fake...
YOU_DEMS_R_A_PYLE_OF, USELESS_FAT_UGLY_TURDS, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
God's lab records.
Ace Lightning, Conestoga Hills, United States, 4 days ago
Time Travler, Europe, United States, 4 days ago
everything fake in China
Fanny Fanakapan, London, 4 days ago
Some more photos would have been nice.
polo22x, london, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
Be careful with them, don`t take them on the escalator.
Fleabittenrangebum, Vista Blanco Ca., United States, 4 days ago
Cheap Chinese knockoffs.
W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G., Somewhere in Dystopian Britain, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
Hopefully there will be a documentary made. Should be fascinating!
ihatearmchaircritics, coventry, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
it's ironic that we are finding out about so many extinct species just as humanity races towards its own destruction!
zulugula, London, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
Religion of evolution is funny.
concho_lady, Concho, United States, 4 days ago
This world of ours continues to surprise and amaze! Always makes me feel so insignificant.
Banana man Kevin, Derby, United Kingdom, 4 days ago
The cambrian explosion in china, no intermediate links and dating methods not reliable evolution on very dodgy ground.