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Chengjiang Fossil Site

 Kunming Attractions

The rocks and fossils of the Chengjiang Fossil Site present an outstanding and extraordinarily preserved record that testifies to the rapid diversification of life on Earth during the early Cambrian period, 530 million years before present. The fossil site has now been declared a UNESCO heritage site

In this geologically short interval, almost all major groups of animals had their origins. The diverse geological evidence from the Chengjiang Fossil Site presents fossil remains of the highest quality of preservation and conveys a complete record of an early Cambrian marine community. It is one of the earliest records of a complex marine ecosystem and a unique window of understanding into the structure of early Cambrian communities.

ore than 10,000 specimens have been produced by the rich Chengjiang site, the fauna being mostly arthropods, such as trilobites and trilobite-like forms, sponges, brachiopods and worms, as well as other groups that include what are believed to possibly be basal deuterostomes, such as vetulicolians and yunnanozoons, as well as what are suggested to be the first fishes, altogether 90 or more species.

Some animals present appear to be unique to this site, though there are also some arthropods that resemble those of the Burgess Shale. Most are believed to have been benthic filter-feeders on the sea floor, though there were also a few floaters and swimmers, some of the larger arthropods being clearly predators that are assumed to have fed on the smaller benthic forms.

Opening Hours: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Admission: 20 Yuan 

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