First report on Guanshan Biota (Cambrian Stage 4) at the stratotype area of Wulongqing Formation in Malong County, Eastern Yunnan, China

Feiyang Chen, Zhifei Zhang*, Marissa J. Betts, Zhiliang Zhang, Fan Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Exceptionally preserved fossils, such as those from Cambrian Burgess Shale-type fossil-Lagerstätten are critical because of their unique contributions to knowledge of the phylogenetic radiation and palaeoecological expansion of metazoans during the Cambrian explosion. Critically, these deposits provide information that is usually unobtainable from shelly and skeletonized fossils alone. The Guanshan Biota (Cambrian Series 2, Stage 4) in the Yunnan Province of South China, has produced abundant and diverse, exquisitely preserved fossils that often retain soft tissues and organs. To date, most fossils from the Guanshan Biota have been collected from localities such as Gaoloufang and Gangtoucun, which have become inaccessible due to new urban expansions and constructions of residential buildings. Here we present the first report of soft bodied fossils from a new section at Kanfuqing, close to the Wulongqing village in Malong County, approximately 3 km east of the Wulongqing Formation stratotype section. Fossils retain soft morphology, and include brachiopods with delicate marginal setae, priapulids with well-preserved sclerites and vetulicolians with entire sections of body. In addition, this fauna includes rare occurrences of trilobites preserved with soft tissues replicated as pyrite pseudomorphs after weathering. This discovery represents an important palaeogeographical extension of soft-bodied fossils of the Guanshan fauna to the east of the Xiaojiang Fault (related to Tsinning tectonic movements ca. 700 Ma). The fauna from the new Kanfuqing section is similar to that reported from the Wulongqing Formation west of the Xiaojiang Fault, and thus has significant implications for early Cambrian palaeogeography, faunal successions and palaeoenvironments of eastern Yunnan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1476
Number of pages18
JournalGeoscience Frontiers
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Guanshan Biota
  • Early Cambrian
  • Xiaojiang Fault
  • Eastern Yunnan
  • palaeoenvironment
  • palaeogeography


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