The Chengjiang Deposits of China

Many Burgess Shale-type fossils have also been found in Cambrian deposits near the town of Chengjiang in Yunnan Province of China. The Chengjiang mud beds were found to be lower Cambrian in age; therefore about 15 million years older than the Burgess Shale deposits. The picture to the right shows researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology excavating the site. Over 10,000 specimens have been recovered thus far.

The following photos include three of the many species found at the Chengjiang site. To the left is Microdictyon and in the center is a bivalved brachiopod. The plant-like Dinomischus to the right, is also found in the Burgess Shale. The worldwide distribution of some taxa indicates that the Burgess fauna was not a geographically isolated phenomenon.

Carleton University and the Burgess Shale

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