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Pompeii-style volcano gave China its dinosaur trove

Published on Feb 5, 2014 12:19 AM
 

PARIS (AFP) - A treasure trove of fossilised dinosaurs and other long-extinct species in northeastern China was created, Pompeii-style, by an erupting volcano, scientists said on Tuesday.

A seam of rock known as the Yixian and Jiufotang formations, in western Liaoning province, is the burial ground of an astonishing array of creatures that lived around 120 million years ago in the Early Cretaceous.

Called the Jehol Biota, it is the richest and widest source of fossils ever found.

It has yielded the remains of dinosaurs, pterosaurs, early birds and mammals, as well as turtles, lizards, freshwater fish, frogs, plants and insects, which inhabited a long-gone vista of lakes and conifer forests.

 
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