February 2010

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Applied Technology

Basic Science Cooperation between CAS and Local Authorities
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New Evidences and New Thinking on the Cambrian Taxonomic Explosion

A study by Chinese scholars appeared as the cover story of the international academic journal Palaios for the first time. It reported the new achievement made by the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS in the research of Chengjiang fauna & the Cambrian taxonomic explosion. Researchers didní»t follow the traditional fossil sampling method, but used the quantitative analytical method in the systemic sampling and excavation of the core burial area of the Chengjiang fauna in the research of the taphonomical mechanism and ecological and community characteristics of the Chengjiang fauna. On the basis of nearly 12,000 fossil specimens obtained, quantitative analysis was made on the sedimentological characteristics and fossil assemblages of the fossiliferous strata. Researchers not only quantitatively proved that the arthropods were a prevailing group in the Chengjiang fauna, but also identified two important fossil taphofacies and proved that the main reason of difference between two taphofacies in fossil community is that the same community has experienced different taphonomical processes. This research not only provided new evidence of the profile and diversity of biocenosis in the period of Cambrian taxonomic explosion, but also provided new ideas for investigation of the influence of taphonomical difference on fossil communities and comparative studies of different taphofacies and fossil communities at different regions.


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