Paleontologists who conducted their research in the vicinity of the Chinese city of Kunming stumbled upon a real “cemetery” of the Cambrian era – more than 2,800 fossil specimens of at least 118 species, including the ancestors of modern jellyfish, insects, crustaceans, worms, trilobites, and sponges.
Seventeen of these species are new to science, and more than half (about 51%) are young, according to a study published June 28 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Scientists suggest that about 518 million years ago, an avalanche of sedimentary rocks descended in the vicinity of Kunming, rushing down the sea slope. It covered many sea creatures, the remains of which have survived to this day.
According to researchers, this place may be a microcosm of the history of the rise and fall of the Cambrian. This thriving seabed colony had what it took to attract a wide variety of animal groups, inviting them to settle and raise their young in seeming serenity (in addition to numerous juveniles, researchers also found many preserved eggs in the area).
Let us remind you that the Cambrian period (Cambrian) is the geological period from which the Paleozoic era and the entire Phanerozoic eon began. It began 541.0 ± 1.0 million years ago, ended 485.4 ± 1.9 million years ago. Thus, it lasted for about 56 million years.