Plant fos­sil park to open in He­nan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By SHI BAOYIN and QI XIN in Zhengzhou

A ge­o­log­i­cal park ded­i­cated to plant fos­sils — the first of its kind in China — is set to open in Yuzhou, He­nan prov­ince.

It took more than three years to build and cov­ers an area of 28.93 square kilo­me­ters.

Zhang Bingchen, deputy chief en­gi­neer of the He­nan In­sti­tute of Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey, said vis­i­tors to the park will be shown how plant fos­sils are formed and dis­cover what the Earth used to look like dur­ing the Per­mian Pe­riod, more than 250 mil­lion years ago.

Yuzhou has rich de­posits of plant fos­sils dat­ing back to this pe­riod, with more than 306 species of plants al­ready iden­ti­fied among its fos­sil records, ac­cord­ing to Zhang.

“Most im­por­tantly, un­like other ar­eas in Shanxi and An­hui prov­inces where the plant fos­sils are buried deep un­der­ground, here they are ex­posed on the sur­face, and are much eas­ier for peo­ple to see and to study, ” he said.

The new ge­o­log­i­cal park will also fea­ture ex­hibits on the his­tory of Jun porce­lain, a type of Chi­nese pot­tery with a com­plex blue glaze that was de­vel­oped lo­cally dur­ing the Song Dy­nasty (960-1279).

“This porce­lain owes much to the lo­cal clay, and the ge­o­log­i­cal park will also show the his­tory of this clay, as it was closely con­nected with lo­cal cul­ture,” Zhang said.

The new park is set to open in Jan­uary, af­ter suc­cess­fully pass­ing an in­spec­tion or­ga­nized by the prov­ince’s depart­ment of land and re­sources on Dec 2, ac­cord­ing to the He­nan In­sti­tute of Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey.

Xie Dong­fang, a pro­fes­sor at He­nan Polytech­nic Univer­sity, said the park would fill a mar­ket niche as it is the first such venue ded­i­cated to plant fos­sils in China.

Con­tact the writers at qixin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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