Guizhou Province
China, Lagerstätte

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Plate with thickets of the crinoid Traumatocrinus hsui

thickets of the crinoid Traumatocrinus hsuiGuizhou Province in China (PRC) is yet another Lagerstätte in a nation truly blessed with amazing fossil fauna. The Wayao Formation in Gauihou is composed of dark-gray to black, laminated marly lime mudstone and calcareous shale containing abundant organic matter and feromanganese nodules. Crinoids and marine reptiles occur on bedding planes and are articulated with exquisite fine-detailed preservation. Scientists believe the Wayao Formation was deposited in an anoxic marine setting in water depths exceeding 1/2 kilometer. Conodonts Paragondolella polygnathiformis, P. foliata, and P. navicula, and the ammonoid Trachyceras multuberculatum found in the strata indicate a Late Triassic (Carnian) age. Traumatocrinus hsui Triassic crinoid crownStudies of the large crinoid species, Traumatocrinus hsui Mu, Traumatocrinus guanlingensis Yu may represent some of the first articulate crinoids. The crinoids range up to 1m tall with crowns up to 20 cm across with some occur in "thickets" essentially in the original growth position. Many species of marine reptiles, including Sauropterygians, Placodonts, and Ichthyosaurs are both abundant, and exhibiting nearly perfect preservation have been recovered from Guizhou.



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