Study of fossils faces snags


A BRISK black market and competing bureaucracies could undermine the scientific payoff from fossil-rich Liaoning Province in north-east China.  

Weak laws, experts say, have failed to halt the illegal excavation and trade in fossils and scientific research is being hindered by confusing local rules, a report in the latest edition of Science magazine says.  

It was less than a decade ago that palaeontologists found spectacular new fossils from Liaoning.  

The steady stream of finds from these rich beds has given them an impressively detailed picture of life 125 million years ago.  

“You can’t find such a rich reserve elsewhere,” says Wang Xiaolin, a noted palaeontologist with the Institute for Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

Wang has led the institute’s fieldwork at Liaoning for seven years.  

Fossils from Liaoning helped explain the ecology of the early Cretaceous period, he adds, and resolved the riddle of whether birds evolved from dinosaurs.  

“It’s been a gold mine,” Wang said. 

Unfortunately, many local residents also discovered the “gold mine,” which is about 400km from Beijing. 

“In western Liaoning, each county has an active fossil market that may contain illicit materials of great value,” said Wang. – China Daily  

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Regional

Covid-19: Cases up by 3,306, bringing total to 161,740 (updated daily)
Covid-19: 3,306 new cases, four fatalities bring death toll to 605
Tough decision ahead for Bank Negara on OPR
Maqis foil attempt to smuggle RM17k worth of chrysanthemum flowers
Facial recognition tech to be rolled out at KLIA
MCO 2.0: PM announces aid package worth RM15bil
Japan PM Suga: Will exhaust all means to protect pandemic-hit medical system
Anger mounts over deepfake porn targeting South Korean female celebs; more than 33K sign petition
Music streaming platform Xiami’s demise a reflection on China’s Internet industry
MCO 2.0 less severe on economy, says AmBank Research

Stories You'll Enjoy