Monday, January 30, 2006

Shanghai’s New Fossil Exhibit

Paleontologist Di Yeli restores the giant-lip rhinoceros at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

From the Shanghai Daily News comes this report:

127 pieces of million-year-old animal fossils from Hezheng County in Gansu Province will be exhibited in Shanghai from tomorrow for two months. The displays will include a shovel-tusk elephant (15 Ma) eating plants; a Hezheng goat (12 Ma) standing on a mountaintop, plus an ancient samoth giraffe, a giant-lip rhino and a three-toed horse “playing happily together”. Also on display will be the skulls, jaws, teeth and limbs of dozens of different prehistoric mammals.

Hezheng, now located in the semi-arid areas bordering the Loess Plateau and the Tibet Plateau in China's northwestern region, was at that time a verdurous and humid paradise for various species of ancient mammals such as giraffe, deer, antelope, goat and hyena.

"It is the first time for these precious fossils — indeed, 'China's national treasure' — to leave the place where they were unearthed some 50 years ago and travel far for an exhibition," says paleontologist Di Yeli, who is the chief engineer for arranging the exhibition. "The fossils not only show us changes of mammal dynasties in Hezheng and its adjacent areas 15 million years ago, but they also provide us with clues to understand the environmental variation in that region. They open a new window for us to look into the evolution of life."

Read the rest HERE.