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Fossils of Giant Panda Discovered in Chongqing

Chinese scientists have recently found fossils of a giant panda in a limestone cave in Wulong County, southwest China's Chongqing City.

The finding was made by Luo Kunli, a fellow researcher with the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Dong Mingxing, a specialist of vertebrate paleontology, during a recent investigative tour to Furong Cave.

The two scientists also tumbled upon tooth fossils of hedgehogs and well-kept remains of bats in the investigative tour.

"The finds might shed light to our research on the cave, including topics such as its age, cause of formation and evolution," said Professor Luo.

With a length of 1,864.7 meters, Furong Cave is the central landscape of the karst geological park with Wujiang Corridor in Wulong. It was first discovered in 1993 and opened to tourists in 1994.

According to Professor Luo, rock and sediment of different ages since the Cambrian Era are available in Furong Cave, which have illustrated the history of the global evolution and the atmospheric changes.

"Furong Cave is a hard-to-find base for scientific inspection and education in spreading scientific knowledge," said Luo, who also collected rock and stalamite samples from the cave during their investigative tour there.

Geological cave experts from Britain, the United States, Ireland, Australia and China waged three rounds of expedition into the cave in 1994, 1996 and 2001.

(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2005)

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