Hezheng county beefs up fossil protection

Updated: 2013-08-06 21:55


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The Hualin Ancient Animal Fossils Museum, situated at the Hualin village, Songlin town, will protect and preserve numerous fossils of ancient animals kept in over 3,000 square meters of rock formations in place, according to Ma Xiao, director of the Administration Committee of the Hezheng Geological Park, which oversees the construction of the museum.

"Ancient animal fossils are precious resources vital for prehistoric archaeology. The protection of the fossils will also serve as a window for the world to get to know about Hezheng and boost tourism," said Ma.

Hezheng county beefs up fossil protection

A composite restored skeleton of Kubanochoerus at a paleozoological museum in Hezheng county, Gansu province. [Yan Weijue/chinadaily.com.cn]

To further expand its influence in the field of fossil preservation, the county will host an annual international symposium focused on protection of ancient animal fossils at the museum in October, inviting 24 top experts in the field from home and abroad, following the museum's expected completion in September, he added.

With the gross investment of 182 million yuan ($297,206), the museum will be built into a multi-functional institution that integrates exhibitions, scientific education and research, entertainment and tourism, which is of great significance for Hezheng, a county that embraces an explosion of animal fossils.

Currently the county holds six world fossil records: the exclusive Hezhenggia bohlini fossil, the largest hyena fossil, the largest true horse (Equus eisenmannae) fossil, the oldest woolly rhino fossil, and the most shovel-tusk elephant and Hipparion fauna fossils, said Ma.

Hezheng has spent more than 200 million yuan building a paleozoological museum to hold more than 30,000 animal fossils it has collected over the past half century. Two pavilions of the museum were finished in 2003 and 2006, respectively, and the third is under construction, scheduled to open by the end of this year.

"The fossils in our museum provides solid evidence on the uplifting of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau millions of years ago. The unearthing of ancient animal fossils in Hezheng county has great significance for the world in Siwailik on the south slope of Mount Qomolangma," said He Wen, curator of the paleozoological museum.

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