China's Jurassic park calls for global talent

Updated 2018-01-23 10:24:01

Fossil-rich site ready for 'fantastic journey into the world of dinosaurs'

Builders of a dinosaur theme park at a world-class fossil cluster in Southwest China are inviting global cooperation, they told the Global Times on Monday.

The park in Chongqing is expected to "offer a fantastic journey into the world of dinosaurs based on the rare fossil clusters combined with the best modern resources," Qin Changde, Party secretary of the municipality's Yunyang county, said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday.

Approved in May last year, the Yunyang Pu'an Dinosaur Geopark will recreate Jurassic epoch landscape and promote scientific research into fossils, according to the Monday statement.

By inviting international participation, the county government hopes to garner global talent to preserve the fossil site and apply cutting-edge technology to "allow the public to vividly experience it," Qin said.

Pu'an villagers in Yunyang first reported finding fossils in early 2015. In October 2016, the municipal government sent an archaeology team to begin excavating.

"Initial excavation and evaluation found a large scale and wide variety of fossils in Yunyang, with great research value and the ability to promote scientific literacy," Xu Xing, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, told the Global Times.

Diggers soon found a site rich in fossils from a wide time span in a five kilometer area.

A 150 meter-long, two-meter-thick, eight meter-high dinosaur fossil wall was excavated.

The Middle Jurassic was a key period in the evolution of dinosaurs, Xu said, characterized by the emergence of sub-species and the evolution of large-bodied dinosaurs.

"However, there are few records of fossils from this period. So the discoveries will surely attract global attention as they fill the gap," he said.

Abundant fossils have been unearthed in 66 areas of 24 Chongqing counties, the statement said.

"World-class natural resources should be matched with world-leading vision and wisdom," Qin noted in the statement.

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