• Palaeontologia Sinica “Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian Fusulinids from Western Guizhou” Published
    Palaeontologia Sinica “Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian Fusulinids from Western Guizhou” by Professor Zhang Linxin, Associate Professor Zhou Jianping and the late Academician Professor Sheng Jinzhang from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology Chinese Academy of Sciences is currently published by Science Press, Beijing, 2010. 
    This monograph introduces four stratigraphic sections in western Guizhou (e.g. Panxian, Weining and Shuicheng). The geologic time is Upper Carboniferous Luosuan, Huashibanian, Dalan and Xiaoyaoan stages as well as Lower Permian Zisong and Longlin stages. The fusulinids described and illustrated comprise 357 species and subspecies belonging to 35 genera, of which 21 species are new forms.
    This book applies the concept of multiple stratigraphic divisions in modern stratigraphy and discusses strata respectively in chronostratigraphic unit, lithostratigraphic unit and biostratigraphic unit. According to the stratigraphic distribution of fossils, 16 fusulinid zones are established from the bottom of Upper Carboniferous to the top of lower Permian in west Guizhou. Among the fusulinid zones, the Luosuan stage has 1 zone, Huashibanian 2, Dalan 6, Xiaoyaoan 3, Zisong 2 and Longlin 2. Furthermore, they are compared with the strata and Fusulinid fauna surviving the same era in different places in China and the world. 
  • A Review on Principle Aspects of the Ordovician Biotic Radiation

    Food web of major marine organisms in the Ordovician
    The Ordovician radiation is among the major bioevents in earth history that have drawn great attention from geologists all over the world. Many opinions and hypotheses have been proposed on the triggering and controlling factors of the radiation. A recent review of the past years’ studies of this biotic event in South China conducted by Profs Zhang Yuandong, Zhan Renbin and others from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, helps understand intensively this radiation event. 
    The studies conducted by Zhang et al show that the Ordovician radiation began in late Early Ordovician. The biodiversity increased stepwisely and tripled that of Cambrian. Instead of a similar pattern of radiation, different fossil groups, especially those with distinct ecotypes vary in biodiversification trajectories and timings. Moreover, the research show that the process and pattern of Ordovician biodiversification also vary geographically and controlled by multiple factors such as latitude and climate. 
    In the paper, Zhang et al suggest that, as a result of the Ordovician radiation, the basic community structure of the Palaeozoic Evolutionary Fauna had been established, and a complex but consistent food web may have also formed. After the Ordovician radiation, marine biodiversity remained relatively stable for over 200 million years until the end-Permian mass extinction. They proposed that a burst of filter feeders and strenthening of symbiosis are two major characterstics of the Ordovician radiation, which distinguish the event from the preceded Cambrian Explosion.
    Based on the analysis of the compiled data, Zhang et al summarize the possible causes and controlling factors of the Ordovician radiation, which include the increase of global tectonic activities, development of island-arcs and terranes, climate and sea-level changes, intensified volcanic activities, superplume formation, changes in substrate, and asteroid impacts, etc. However, none of them solely can convincingly explain the Ordovician radiation. On the other hand, the interactions between organism groups are also critical and should be considered intensively.
    This paper is published on recent issue of Science China (Earth Science) in both Chinese and English.
    ZHANG YuanDong*, ZHAN RenBin, FAN JunXuan, CHENG JunFeng & LIU Xiao, 2010. Principal aspects of the Ordovician biotic radiation. Science China (Earth Science), 53(3): 382–394
  • New Species of Ginkgo jiayinensis Discovered and used in reconstructing paleo-CO2

    The living fossil Ginkgo, a relict of a once dominant gymnosperm,existed and flourished early in the Mesozoic, but only a vagueoutline of its evolutionary history in the Tertiary has been unveiled. Recently Doctor Quan Cheng et al from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology Chinese Academy of Sciences and Jilin University described a new species, Ginkgo jiayinensis sp. nov. and used it to reconstructed paleo-CO2 of Tertiary.
    Ginkgo jiayinensis was found from the Wuyun Formation of Jiayin, China, which is another well-established Tertiary species based on leaf fossils besides G. adiantoides. The most remarkable feature of the new species is the amphistomatic leaves, likely representing a distinct evolutionary line of the genus in this time interval. Ginkgo jiayinensis is similar to the co-occurring G. adiantoides and extant G. biloba in the lower cuticle, but the two latter species clearly differ in having hypostomatic leaves. Ginkgo bilobais used as the nearest living equivalent (NLE) species for both G. adiantoides and G. jiayinensis in reconstructing paleo-CO2,as it has been used for other fossil species with either hypostomaticor amphistomatic leaves. The two Tertiary species are almost identical in stomatal index in abaxial cuticles (8.4 and 8.5,respectively), showing no strong differences in response toatmospheric CO2. Amphistomatic G. jiayinensis would therefore have used a different ecological strategy from that of G. adiantoides of the same bed.
    The study has been published in American Journal of Botany. 
    Quan C., Sun G., and Zhou Z. 2010. A new Tertiary Ginkgo (Ginkgoaceae) from the Wuyun Formation of Jiayin, Heilongjiang, northeastern China and its paleoenvironmental implications. American Journal of Botany, 97(3): 446-457. 
  • The Dawn Angiosperms Published by Springer

    The origin of angiosperms is an abominable mystery in evolutionary biology that has puzzled botanist for long. However, the The Dawn Angiosperms written by Dr Wang Xin from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology Chinese Academy of Sciences and published by Springer gives new interpretation to sheds light on this historical mystery. 
    This book is about fossil plants of so-called "pre-historic" angiosperms. It reflects the newest progress in research on the origin of angiosperms, and will definitely trigger many new ideas in research. It emphasizes the early Cretaceous and Jurassic materials, rather than later ones, as they are the key periods for the origin of angiosperms. Dr Wang integrates multiple techniques, including SEM, TEM, light microscopy, peeling and cladistics, to study the morphology, anatomy and phylogeny of the fossils. Several Jurassic materials of angiosperms that have never been reported before are included, these used to be thought as pre-historic for flowering plants. Two more fossils angiosperms from the Yixian Formation, where Archaefructus was excavated, are reported. Newer and stricter criterion for identifying fossil angiosperms is proposed.
    This book, besides providing necessary background information and discussions, focuses on the earliest angiosperms: namely those more than 125 million years old. Currently 125 million year old angiosperms, are the oldest to be found - especially in the eyes of European scholars. It proceeds by introducing several interesting angiosperms from the Jurassic and early Cretaceous, including Schmeissneria (early-middle Jurassic, 160-199 million years old (Ma)), Xingxueanthus (middle Jurassic, 160 Ma), Solaranthus (middle Jurassic, 164 Ma), Callianthus (early Cretaceous, 125 Ma), Chaoyangia (early Cretaceous, 125 Ma), Archaefructus (early Cretaceous, 125 Ma), Sinocarpus (early Cretaceous, 125 Ma). Others are currently being processed. These fossils, most of which have hitherto not been published,will uncover many unknown aspects of early angiosperms, and help to solve the mystery surrounding their origin.
  • Research revealed the taphonomic processes of Kaili Biota

      The abrupt decline of Burgess Shale-type (BST) deposits after Cambrian is a subject of considerable debate. Among others, bioturbation has been suggested as one of the major limiting factors for preservation of BST deposits. However,Professor Jih-Pai Lin from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) reported convincing evidence to contest such hypothesis. They examined 323 well-preserved specimens from the Kaili Biota (c. 513 Ma) from Guizhou, South China. Important specimens were examined under SEM and the virtual 3D relation between trace fossils and echinoderm fauna was reconstructed via X-ray microtomography. Prof. Lin’s team interpreted that exceptional preservation does not necessarily imply the absence of trace fossils. Furthermore, trace fossils are the indirect evidence of indigenous infaunal organisms; thus, they should be considered as a part of a local BST community exemplified by Kaili Biota. Their study offered new insights into both trace fossil-body fossil association among BST communities and conditions required for BST preservation. This study also includes an appendix summarizing all reported ichnofossils from the Kaili Formation. 
  • Early–Mid Ordovician Yangtzeella (Syntrophiidina, Brachiopoda) and its evolutionary significance
     *State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China; e-mail rbzhan@nigpas.ac.cn 
     ?Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada; e-mail jjin@uwo.ca 
    Copyright ? The Palaeontological Association, 2010
    KEYWORDS: Yangtzeella ? ornamentation ? macroevolution ? Ordovician ? South China
    Abstract: Re-examination of newly collected topotype material confirms that the type species of Yangtzeella, Y. poloi, a widespread Early and Mid Ordovician syntrophiidine brachiopod in South China, has a finely costellate shell rather than being smooth as previously thought. Thus, the subgenus Yangtzeella (Vadimella) Nikitina et al., established on the basis of fine costellae, is invalidated. Among 15 species of Yangtzeella, five species are recognized as valid based on multivariate analyses: Y. poloi, Y. unsulcata, Y. songziensis, Y. kueiyangensis and Y. igori, among which the type species was the oldest known. Six are synonymized: Y. septata, Y. reticulata, Y. lensiformis, Y. depressa, Y. yichangensis and Y. minuta. Four are rejected from Yangtzeella: Y. extensa, Y. similior, Y. yohi and Y. poloi var. minor. Regional biostratigraphy indicates that Yangtzeella first appeared in a relatively deep-water setting on the Lower Yangtze Platform (South China palaeoplate) during late Tremadoc time (Scolopodus warendensis conodont biozone) and then expanded to the deeper Jiangnan Slope as well as to the shallower Upper Yangtze Platform. The genus experienced two episodes of heightened abundance and diversity on the Upper Yangtze Platform during late Dapingian and mid Darriwilian times, respectively. Outside South China, Yangtzeella occurs sporadically in a few microplates or terranes, such as Tarim, Chu-Ili (southern Kazakhstan) and Taurides (southern Turkey) during the Dapingian and Darriwilian. Worldwide, Yangtzeella became extinct by the end of the Darriwilian.
  • Two Paper Collections for ICCP2007 Published
    After the XVI International Congress on the Carboniferous and Permian (ICCP2007) was held in Nanjing in June 2007, the organizing committee of the congress has published one paper collection (Shen Shuzhong et al., 2007, Palaeoworld) and one abstract collection (Wang Yue et al., 2007, Journal of Stratigraphy). In 2009 and 2010, two paper collections about Carboniferous-Permian research progress were respectively published. 
    The subject of the first collection is “Carboniferous and Permian biota, integrative stratigraphy, sedimentology, palaeogeography, and palaeoclimatology”. This selection is co-edited by professors Wang Xiangdong and Shen Shuzhong from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Professor Ian Somerville, chief editor of Geological Journal. After selection, 11 papers are published in Palaeoworld (2009, Volume 18, Issues 2-3). They discuss topics such as Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s Carboniferous biological group, biostratigraphy and boundary stratotype, Carboniferous-Permian eustatic change, and climatic revolution, as well as Poland’s intra-continental basin depositing in middle and upper Permian, and brachiopod faunas extinction events in late Guadalupian series. 
    The subject of the second collection is “Lopingian (Late Permian) stratigraphy of the world, major events and environmental change”. This selection is co-edited by professor Shen Shuzhong, Professor Charles Henderson, Chairman of Subcommission on Permian Stratigraphy and Professor Ian Somervill. A total of 13 papers are published in Geological Journal (2010, Volume 45, Issues 2-3). They discuss topics such as High-resolution Lopingian (Late Permian) timescale of South China, high-resolution conodont biostratigraphy in Iran, Lopingian (Late Permian) stratigraphy in Asia-Australia and Himalayan region, latest Permian extinction in the Southern Alps, carbon isotopes variety through the Permian-Triassic transition in South China, foraminiferal faunal succession in Lopingian stratigraphy in Tibet, and Permian systems in Poland, Turkey and Australia.
    So far, all the paper collections of the XVI International Congress on the Carboniferous and Permian have been published.
  • Silurian conodonts from the Yangtze Platform, south China is published in Special Papers in Palaeontology
    Silurian conodonts from several sections in the area of the Yangtze Platform, South China, are described and their taxonomy revised. Two new families, Pseudooneotodidae and Gamachignathidae, are erected, one new genus, Chenodontos, and ten new species and subspecies: Apsidognathus ruginosus scutatus, Chenodontos makros, Distomodus cathayensis, Oulodus tripus, Ozarkodina wangzhunia, Panderodus amplicostatus, Pterospathodus sinensis, Wurmiella amplidentata, Wurmiella curta and Wurmiella recava. are erected. Some additional new taxa are introduced in open nomenclature. The status of conodont biozonation in the Silurian of China is reviewed, and the following zones provisionally recognised to span the Llandovery succession: Ozarkodina aff. hassi Biozone; Ozarkodina obesa Biozone; Ozarkodina parahassi Biozone; Ozarkodina guizhouensis Biozone; Pterospathodus eopennatus Biozone; Pterospathodus celloni Biozone; Pterospathodus amorphognathoides Biozone. The re-assessment of conodont data indicates that unequivocal Wenlock taxa have not been recorded on the Yangtze Platform and that Wenlock marine deposits, if present, are much less extensive than previously suggested. Current conodont evidence also indicates that red beds are probably developed at three levels in the Silurian of the region: upper Aeronian to lower Telychian; upper Telychian, perhaps extending into the Wenlock; Ludlow, pre-O. crispa Biozone.
     Wang Cheng-yuan and Aldridge, R. J., 2010. Silurian conodonts from the Yangtze Platform, south China. Special papers in Palaeontology, 83:1-136, with 13 Text-figs, 30 Plates and 9 Tables. The Palaeontological Associatioan, London, June 2010
  • New Progress Made in the Research of Terminal Ordovician Mass Extinction in South China
    Recently, Dr. Huang Bing et al from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology Chinese Academy of Sciences and Denmark published the latest research achievements on “Lilliput effect” of brachiopod faunas of South China following the terminal Ordovician mass extinction in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 
    In the immediate aftermath of global extinctions, organisms were normally much smaller than those prior to these events. This ‘Lilliput Effect’ can be subdivided into two types: 1) a specific type, following the original definition of the effect which targets species-level taxa associated with inhospitable environments, and 2) a more general type, related to the reactions of higher-rank taxa above the species-level. The body sizes of brachiopods from South China through the Ordovician and Silurian transition (Late Katian, Hirnantian, and earliest Rhuddanian) are compared at generic, superfamilial, ordinal, and class levels. The results indicate that the body sizes of the taxa of lower rank (e.g. genus-level) are highly variable within these different intervals. The type of evidence for the Lilliput Effect through the end Ordovician mass extinction is thus quite different from that of the end Permian mass extinction probably reflecting differences in the intensity of these two major bioevents. However, the relationships between the contrasting trends in body-size change of some taxa of higher rank (e.g. at the ordinal-level) and the relative dominance of these taxa in the latest Ordovician and earliest Silurian suggest that the brachiopods of the two major Ordovician groups, the strophomenoids and orthoids, adopted different survival strategies during and immediately after the crisis from those of the pentamerides and rhynchonellides, that were common in Silurian assemblages.
    Huang Bing, David A.T. Harper, Zhan Renbin and Rong Jiayu. 2010. Can the Lilliput Effect be detected in the brachiopod faunas of South China following the terminal Ordovician mass extinction? Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Volume 285, 277-286.
  • First Monograph on Fossil Dinoflagellates of China has been Published
    FOSSIL DINOFLAGELLATES OF CHINA edited by Prof. He Chengquan, Prof. Song Zhichen and Prof. Zhu Youhua from Nanging Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences has been published recently. This volume is divided into eight main chapters. The first seven chapters concern an introduction to the study of fossil and living dinoflagellates. A final chapter is the systematic classification of fossil dinoflagellates of China. It summarizes fossil dinoflagellate taxa published before the year 2006 in China. A total of 213 genera 13 subgenera and about 1000 species (forms) including subspecies and varietates are basically collected.