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The spectacular fossils of the ‘water margin’: the Cambrian biota of Chengjiang, Yunnan, China

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posted on 06.04.2020, 08:13 by M Williams, DJ Siveter, SE Gabbott, X Ma, MA Purnell, P Cong
Shi Nai'an's fourteenth century Chinese epic ‘Water Margin’ tells of the release of 36 heavenly spirits and 72 baleful stars from their captivity beneath a tablet of stone at Mount Longhu in Jiangxi Province. They are reincarnated as the 108 heroes of the Liangshan marsh in Shandong Province, who rise against an unjust world. The virtuous exploits of the ‘108’ were brought to life through the cathode-ray screens of 1970s television sets, as the TV series The Water Margin introduced heroes like Lin Chong battling his evil nemesis Gao Qiu. Far to the west of Jiangxi Province and several hundred years after the Water Margin during the summer of 1984, a young scientist from Nanjing was working amongst the hills and lakes of southern Yunnan Province. He too overturned a stone slab, releasing from their half-billion year captivity a cornucopia of new Chinese legends. His name was Xianguang Hou and he had made one of the most momentous fossil discoveries in history, uncovering the exceptionally preserved marine fossils of the Chengjiang biota from the ancient water margin of Cambrian seas.

Funding

Our work on Chengjiang fossils is supported by the Royal Society (International Joint Project IE131457), the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/L011751/1 and NE/K004557/1), The Leverhulme Trust (EM 2014‐068), and The National Natural Science Foundation of China (U1302232).

History

Citation

Williams, M., Siveter, D.J., Siveter, D.J., Gabbott, S.E., Ma, X., Purnell, M.A. and Cong, P. (2016), The spectacular fossils of the ‘water margin’: the Cambrian biota of Chengjiang, Yunnan, China. Geology Today, 32: 233-237. doi:10.1111/gto.12169

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Geology Today

Volume

32

Issue

6

Pagination

233 - 237

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0266-6979

eissn

1365-2451

Acceptance date

28/11/2016

Copyright date

2016

Available date

28/11/2016

Publisher version

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gto.12169

Notes

Correction for this article: Geodigest Volume 33 Issue 1G eology Today pages: 2-11 First Published online: January 23, 2017 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gto.12171

Language

en

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