Maotianshan Shales

Maotianshan Shale
Stratigraphic range: Cambrian Stage 3, Qiongzhusian age local stage
Outcrop of the Maotianshan Shale, site of the discovery of the Chengjiang Biota
Unit ofChiungchussu Formation
Areamultiple 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi)
Thickness50 m (160 ft)
Coordinates26°42′N 108°24′E / 26.7°N 108.4°E / 26.7; 108.4
Approximate paleocoordinates28°06′N 154°18′E / 28.1°N 154.3°E / 28.1; 154.3
RegionChengjiang County, Yunnan
Country China
Type section
Named forMaotianshan Hill
LocationMaotianshan Hill
RegionChengjiang County, Yunnan
Country China

The Maotianshan Shales are a series of Early Cambrian sedimentary deposits in the Chiungchussu Formation,[2] famous for their Konservat Lagerstätten, deposits known for the exceptional preservation of fossilized organisms or traces. The Maotianshan Shales form one of some forty Cambrian fossil locations worldwide exhibiting exquisite preservation of rarely preserved, non-mineralized soft tissue, comparable to the fossils of the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, Canada. They take their name from Maotianshan Hill (Chinese: ; pinyin: Màotiānshān, Literal meaning: Hat Sky Mountain) in Chengjiang County, Yunnan Province, China.

The most famous assemblage of organisms are referred to as the Chengjiang biota for the multiple scattered fossil sites in Chengjiang. The age of the Chengjiang Lagerstätte is locally termed Qiongzhusian, a stage correlated to the late Atdabanian Stage in Siberian sequences of the middle of the Early Cambrian.[3][4] The shales date to ≤518 million years ago.[1] The shales also contain the slightly younger Guanshan biota from Malong District in Yunnan,[3] Kaili biota and Balang fauna in Guizhou, Shipai fauna in Hubei, and sponge faunas of Guizhou and Anhui.[5]

Along with the Burgess Shale, the Maotianshan Shales are remarked as "our best window into the Cambrian 'explosion'",[6] especially on the origin of chordates.[7]

  1. ^ a b Yang, C.; Li, X.-H.; Zhu, M.; Condon, D. J.; Chen, J. (2018). "Geochronological constraint on the Cambrian Chengjiang biota, South China" (PDF). Journal of the Geological Society. 175 (4): 659–666. Bibcode:2018JGSoc.175..659Y. doi:10.1144/jgs2017-103. ISSN 0016-7649. S2CID 135091168.
  2. ^ Lipps, J. H.; Signor, P. W (1992). Origin and early evolution of the Metazoa. Springer. ISBN 978-0-306-44067-0.
  3. ^ a b Zhang, X.; Liu, W.; Zhao, Y. (2008). "Cambrian Burgess Shale-type Lagerstätten in South China: Distribution and significance". Gondwana Research. 14 (1–2): 255–262. Bibcode:2008GondR..14..255Z. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/
  4. ^ Rozanov, A. Yu.; Maoyan Zhu, K. L. Pak and P. Yu. Parkhaev (2008). "The 2nd Sino-Russian Symposium on the Lower Cambrian Subdivision". Paleontological Journal. 42 (4): 441–446. doi:10.1134/S0031030108040151. S2CID 129626166.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Shu, D. G.; Morris, S. C.; Han, J.; Chen, L.; Zhang, X. L.; Zhang, Z. F.; Liu, H. Q.; Li, Y.; Liu, J. N. (2001-11-22). "Primitive deuterostomes from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Lower Cambrian, China)". Nature. 414 (6862): 419–424. Bibcode:2001Natur.414..419S. doi:10.1038/35106514. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 11719797. S2CID 4345484.
  7. ^ McMenamin, Mark A. S. (2019). "Cambrian Chordates and Vetulicolians". Geosciences. 9 (8): 354. Bibcode:2019Geosc...9..354M. doi:10.3390/geosciences9080354. ISSN 2076-3263.

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