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Lanzhou University makes breakthroughs in paleohistology research in Tibetan Plateau

By LZU | 04/05/2018 16:57:00 | Views ()

Led by Professor Sun Bainian, Lanzhou University’s paleontological research team has been devoted to paleobotany research for a long time and has achieved many results. At the same time, it is also actively expanding the research of paleozoology. Recently, the research team made new breakthroughs in paleohistology research in the Tibetan Plateau. The relevant research results were published online in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, an authoritative journal in the field of paleovertebral zoology (https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2018. 1442840). The corresponding author of this article is Professor Yan Defei and the first author is graduate student Yang Tao of 2015 Paleontology and Stratigraphy.

In recent years, Prof. Yan Defei of the Paleontology Research Team led several team members to take field trips to the Qaidam Basin and collected well-preserved fish fossils from about 30 million years ago. Some of these specimens were identified as schizothoracinae, and they established a new genus – Paleoschizothorax. The schizothoracins are a group of carp species that lived in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounding plateaus. They are also the only group of carps that adapt to the natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Their formation and evolution are related to the environment and climate change in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau during the geo-history. 

The study suggests that the origin of schizothoracins should be closely linked to the global cooling in the Eocene epoch and helps to understand the impact of this global climate change on the Asian environment from a biological perspective. At the same time, the study also believes that the Qaidam Basin was lower in altitude and warmer in the Oligocene period, and the strong tectonic movement since the Miocene has led to the migration of the schizothoracins and the extinction of some.


(Translated by Zhang Yuyuan; proofread by Sun Lianyue; edited by Zhang Yuyuan)

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