fossils representing more than 50 previously undescribed animal species dating back 518 million years.
The soft tissues of their bodies, including muscles, organs, eyes and mouths are still visible in some
of the 4,351 fossils discovered in Yichang, Hubei province, according to a new study published in the journ
al Science on Friday. The excavated fossils represent 109 species, including known jelly fish, arthropods and algae.
Fu Dongjing, associate professor at Northwest University in Xi’an, Shaanxi, also the first author of the paper, said the research g
roup started exploring the ancient ruins in the summer of 2007, in Changyang Tujia autonomous county. It was lo
cated on the bank of Qingjiang River where a representative insect from the Cambrian period was first found.
The new trove of fossils called the Qingjiang biota－the living organisms of a region－ha
ve the potential to greatly inform the understanding of early animal evolution, according to the study.
About 542 million years ago, life on earth diversified at an extremely rapid pace, known as t
he Cambrian explosion. Almost all present animal categories appeared at that time. Many creatures wen
t extinct in the process of evolution, but others became the initial form of future organisms.
outlines of soft tissue have been found at the Burgess Shale in Canada, as well as some by the Chengjiang River in Yunnan province. The
newly discovered fossils provide a completely different ecosystem of organisms that lived around the same time, the study said.
Unlike other Cambrian fossil troves, the Qingjiang biota appears to conta
in a high proportion of jellyfish and comb jellies, which are extremely rare at other sites.
Zhang Xingliang, a professor at Northwest University and co-author of the p
aper, said that compared with the Chengjiang biota in the shallow water along the coast, Qi
ngjiang biota lived in deep ocean, making the two biota complementary in their scientific significance.
“The treasure trove of the Qingjiang biota provides an exciting opportunity to explore how paleoenvironmental conditi
ons influenced ecological structuring and evolutionary drivers during the Cambrian explosion,” said Allis
on Daley, a paleontologist at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, who was not involved in the study.
that was put forward by Xi, and the initiative is expected to promote the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent.
The BRI is also a road of cultural exchanges, he said, adding that Italy would like to enhance cooperation with China in tourism and culture. Italy ad
mires China’s achievements in economic development, and it appreciates China’s opening-up policies, he said.
Both Italy and China are ancient civilizations, and the people of the two countries have sufficient wisdom to deal with
challenges nowadays, he said, adding that China’s rejuvenation will bring new contributions to peace and prosperity.
China will take a solid step toward becoming a high-income country this year,
reating more space to deepen reform and expand opening-up, economists said on Friday.
A more balanced growth pattern will help the world’s second-largest ec
onomy pass the “middle-income trap”, with consumption and high-tech man
ufacturing leading growth, they said at a Beijing seminar leading up to the 2019 China Development Forum, which starts on Saturday.
llati said, noting that the Italian and Chinese peoples have always trusted each other and
maintained profound friendship, with close ties in such fields as economy and trade, and culture.
The Senate speaker said she agrees with Xi on his remarks about the traditional friendly exchanges between the two cou
ntries dating back over 2,000 years, published in leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of his visit.
China and Italy are major countries that boast a rich culture, she said, adding that Italy is willing to boost communication and c
ooperation with the Chinese side in such fields as culture, art, language, heritage protection, tourism, science and tec
hnology, and innovation, and encourage their youths to increase exchanges and mutual understanding.