The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China: The Flowering of Early Animal Life
February 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
- 100 superb full color plates.
- First English language illustrated guide to this important
- A must-have for all palaeontologists worldwide.
To see a collection of images from the book, click on the following link: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/chengjiang
Part I: Geological And Evolutionary Setting of The Biota.
1. Geological Time And The Evolution Of Early Life On Earth.
2. The Evolutionary Significance Of The Chengjiang Biota.
3. The Discovery And Initial Study Of The Chengjiang Lagerstätte.
4. The Distribution And Geological Setting Of The Chengjiang Lagerstätte.
5. The Taphonomy And Preservation Of The Chengjiang Fossils.
6. The Paleoecology Of The Chengjiang Biota.
Part II: Chengjiang Fossils.
8. Phylum Porifera.
9. Phylum Cnidaria.
10. Phylum Ctenophora.
11. Phylum Nematomorpha.
12. Phylum Priapulida.
13. Phylum Hyolitha.
14. Phylum Lobopodia.
15. Anomalocarididae (Phylum Uncertain).
16. Phylum Arthropoda.
17. Phylum Brachiopoda.
18. Phylum? Vetulicolia.
19. Phylum Chordata.
20. Enigmatic Animals.
21. Species Recorded From The Chengjiang Biota.
Richard Aldridge is FW Bennett Professor of Geology at
the University of Leicester. He specializes in early vertebrates,
particularly the extinct conodonts, and also works on a range of
exceptionally preserved fossils. He is President of the
International Palaeontological Association.
Jan Bergström is Professor of Palaeozoology at the
Swedish Museum of Natural History. His major paleontological
interests are in the evolution of the oldest arthropods and the
evolution of life at the beginning of the Paleozoic.
David Siveter is Professor of Palaeontology at the
University of Leicester. His main research interests are in
Paleozoic arthropods, especially ostracods, and also exceptionally
preserved Paleozoic faunas.
Derek Siveter is Assistant Curator at the University
Museum of Natural History, and Reader in Earth Sciences, University
of Oxford. His research focuses on arthropods, especially those of
the Early Paleozoic, together with fossils from several
Feng Xiang-hong is the Deputy Head of the Research Center for the Chengjiang Biota, Yunnan University, and is in charge of foreign affairs and project organizer for the center. She has been involved with the collection and promulgation of the Chengjiang Biota since its discovery.
- 100 superb full color plates.
- First English language illustrated guide to this important fauna.
- A must-have for all palaeontologists worldwide.
Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology<!--end-->
"Scratching about in the ancient rock strata of southern China
is also producing a fossil bonanza, wonderfully illustrated in
Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang. Mainly intended for
professional palaeontologists, this spotter's guide details the
amazing fossils, 525 million years old, that have been shaking the
tree of life for the past 10 years. Chengjiang's hundred species,
from algae to chordates, challenge North America's Burgess Shale
fauna for the quality and amount of new information they
Douglas Palmer, New Scientist, March 2004
"The authors offer anyone interested in paleontology or
evolutionary biology an excellent overview of the setting, study,
preservation and paleoecology of the Chengjiang fauna as well as
brief descriptions, photographs and reconstructions of more than 90
Science, June 2004
"...this beautifully produced book...is the best systematic
compendium of the entire Chengjiang biota, offering a rare view of
this great episode in the diversification of animal life."
Zhe-Xi Luo, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Nature, August 2004
"This book is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in
the palaeobiology of not only Cambrian ecosystems but also
exceptional faunas in general. It is a platform from which to
follow discussion on topics such as these, reports of new forms and
re-interpretations of those known already, in the coming years.
Patrick J Orr, University College Dublin, Palaeontological Association Newsletter, September 2004
"...a beautifully illustrated monograph..." from The
Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life by Richard
"A Chinese-English-Swedish team have combined to produce this
summary of the fossils, with the text for each taxon a lucid
summary of its points of interest and biological affinities,
without the dry words of a technical systematic monograph. Each
type of fossil is exquisitely illustrated in this stunning book,
with virtually all of the pictures in faithful colour. "
Magazine of the Geologists' Association, December 2004
"This is a fine book indeed....It is beautifully produced, and
all the maps, charts, and photographs are in colour, the latter
faithfully reproducing the yellow, brown, red and pink of the
flattened fossils and the contrasting paler sediment...Whereas
research still continues, this book presents an invaluable summary
of knowledge at the present time."
Euan Clarkson, Times Higher Education Supplement, January 2005
"This is one of those rare books...that delights the eye as well
as the mind. Layouts, fonts, and illustrations are very pleasingly
done; the writing is clear, concise and easy to understand even for
the non-specialist. Plus the science is impeccable...one is
enchanted by the beauty of the fossils, and the diversity of
unusual creatures blows your mind. I found myself having a
difficult time putting this book down, and I suspect that you will
Fossil News: Journal of Avocational Paleontology, June 2005
"...this is a timely production...[which] can only reinforce our
sense of astonishment as to the amazing fossils of
Geological Magazine, August 2005
"There is no doubt that the superb photographs of these
wonderful fossils are the highlight of this book...This first book
in English on the Chengjiang biota is a delight..."
The Journal of Biogeography, September 2005
"I have a shelf of books of superb fossil illustrations, to
which I turn late in the day, when weary of analysis, and ready for
aestheti recreation. We are lucky that paleontology is rich in such
books, and this one deserves pride of place."
Priscum, November 2005
|Images From The Book|
Maotianshan in the Chengjiang area, Yunnan Province, the site of the first find of soft-bodied fossils
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Collecting from the Lower Cambrian pale coloured mudstones at Maotianshan in the Chengjiang area, Yunnan Province
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|History Of Life
The geological record with some key events in the history of life
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Cricocosmia jinningensis , a nematomorph worm, x7.8. This species is known from thousands of specimens. The anterior proboscis, armed with spines, and the dark-coloured gut, are often clearly seen. It is known only from the Lower Cambrian of Yunnan Province
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Paraselkirkia jinningensis , a priapulid worm, x13.8. Hundreds of specimens are known for this species. The narrow, elongate, tapering tube presumably housed the trunk of the animal, and anteriorly there is a spinose proboscis for use in feeding and burrowing activities. This species has been recorded only from the Lower Cambrian of the Chengjiang area.
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Fuxianhuia protensa , an arthropod, x2.1. It has a wide ?head shield' and broad, anterior part to its trunk, which are succeeded by a narrower abdomen. This animal lived on the sea bottom, and the pair of grasping appendages in the head indicates that it may have been carnivorous. The species is known only from the Chengjiang biota.
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Microdictyon sinicum , a lobopodian, x7.2. It is uncertain which is the head end in this species, which has a trunk on which there are perforated plates, and annulated appendages with distal claws that it probably used for attachment. Microdictyon is known from various localities of Cambrian age globally, though this species has only been found in the Chengjiang area.
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Yunnanozoon lividum , an enigmatic form, x6.0. This worm-like animal may have been a deposit feeder. It has only been recorded from the Chengjiang biota.
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Myllokunmingia fengjiaoa , a chordate, x5.8. Myllokunmingia is one of the most celebrated fossils from the Chengjiang biota, as it is the earliest known vertebrate. It could certainly swim, though its mode of feeding is as yet unknown. It has been found only in the Lower Cambrian of the Haikou area, Yunnan Province.
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Anomalocaris saron , reconstruction. Anomalocaris , a large animal with large anterior appendages, was a carnivorous predator. It is one of four anomalocaridid genera in the Lower Cambrian of the Chengjiang area; each contains a single species, all of which are known only from this biota. The affinity of the anomalocaridids has been much debated, their morphology inviting comparison with several phyla, including various worm groups, kinorhynchs, lobopodians and arthropods.
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