Fossilized Marine Growth Discovered in Xinjiang

A great number of marine fish fossils have been discovered in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

These fossils were unearthed one meter underground, at a construction site in the city.

Most of the fishes on the rock plate are black. And the fish head, eyes, bones, fin and tail are clear and easy to be identified.

Miao Xizhong and Gao Shunli, two associate professors from the Xinjiang University, said that the fossilized fishes lived in the sea more than 200 million years ago. These fish fossils range from 40 cm to 6 cm in length.

Local residents are surprised to see that marine growth fossils are found in the city, which is 2,500 kilometers to the west of the Pacific Ocean, 6,900 kilometers to the east of Atlantic Ocean, 3,400 kilometers to the south of Arctic Ocean and 2,200 kilometers to the north of Indian Ocean.

But experts said that the discovery is not a strange thing.

Hu Wenkang, a scholar with the Xinjiang Ecology and Geology Institute under the Chinese Academy of Science, noted that "the discovery further proves the changes Urumqi had experienced from and to land."

According to experts, the major part of Xinjiang was a sea area between the period from 280 million years to 2.5 billion years ago. The area rose up and formed land some 200 million years ago.

Previously, fossils of coral, ammonite and ancient fishes had been found in Xinjiang.

(Xinhua 05/19/2001)

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