Trilobites of Chengjiang,
Locality: Maotianshan and other
localities near Chengjiang, eastern Yunnan Province, South China
Stratigraphy: Heilinpu (Qiongzhusi) Formation, Yu'anshan
Age: Early Cambrian. 525 mya
Maotian Hill (Maotianshan), near Chengjiang, Yunnan Province, China. Image
courtesy this Chinese website
|Location of the Chengjiang lagerstatte
|Locality of Chengjiang during the Early
The Chengjiang biota, first discovered by Hou Xianguang in 1984, is reknowned
as a window on the diversity of the early Cambrian.
As in the Burgess Shale lagerstatte, soft-bodied
animals are preserved at Chengjiang, in fine mudstones, revealing a great
diversity of early arthropods, as well as such curiosities as anomalocaridids and Hallucigenia. In fact,
trilobites make up only about 0.5% of the Chengjiang fauna. There are four
Even the trilobite specimens from Chengjiang often have their soft parts
preserved, such as antennae and limbs, as is apparent in the remarkable
Yunnanocephalus specimen above. In addition to trilobites, there
were many other species of arachnomorph (trilobite-like
clade) arthropods such as Xandarella, Cinderella, Squamacula, Sinoburius,
Kuamaia, Rhombicalvaria, Saperion, Retifacies, Naraoia,
and Misszhouia. These trilobite-like arthropods demonstrate that
the group from which trilobites arose was itself
successful and diverse, though being uncalcified, are only preserved at
exceptional lagerstatten such as Chengjiang.
Some Chengjiang literature:
Hou, Xian-Guang, R.J. Aldridge, J. Bergstrom, D.L. Siveter, D.J. Siveter,
X.H. Feng. 2004. The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang China: The Flowering
of Early Animal Life. 233 pp. Blackwell Publishing.
Chen, Junyuan and Guiqing Zhou. 1997. Biology of the Chengjiang fauna.
in: The Cambrian Explosion and the Fossil Record. Bulletin of the National
Museum of Natural Science 10:11-106.
Related localities: Burgess Shale
Walking Trilobite animation
©2000 by S. M. Gon III
last revised 27 APR 2005 by S.M. Gon III