COP15 exhibit shows China’s 1st 3D-printed dinosaur skeleton
Published: Oct 12, 2021 08:05 PM
China's first 3D-printed dinosaur skeleton is on exhibit at the COP 15 in Kunming. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Visitors look at China's first 3D-printed dinosaur skeleton at the COP15 held in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan Province on Tuesday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

China's first 3D-printed dinosaur skeleton is on display at the ongoing COP15 held in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan Province to showcase China's biodiversity conservation practice and achievement.

The source of the 3D dinosaur skeleton is a fossil recently found by villagers in Lufeng county in Yunnan, who discovered dinosaur skeleton fossils exposed after heavy rains during their recent landscaping operation.

It was in Lufeng in 1938 that China's first complete dinosaur skeleton fossil was discovered, and ever since, Chinese paleontologists have evacuated hundreds of dinosaur fossils there, known as the "home to dinosaurs."

Twenty-four species of dinosaurs have been discovered in Yunnan, of which 18 were in the early Jurassic period, You Hailu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Yang Yuming, a professor at the Yunnan Academy of Forestry and Grassland and a member of China's Endangered Species Scientific Commission, told the Global Times that the dinosaur fossils in Yunnan have set five records in the world, including Lufengosaurus, which is the most primitive and oldest vertebrate fossil group in the world. The genus of dinosaur fossils in Lufeng ranks most in the world; the number of preserved dinosaur fossils in Lufeng ranks the largest in the world; the burial density of Lufengosaurus fossils is the highest in the world; and the completeness of Lufengosaurus fossils also ranks the highest in the world.

You said China has discovered the largest number of dinosaur fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. 

"China takes the lead in the research of dinosaur fossils in the world. And every year, some foreign experts would come to Yunnan for academic exchanges. Many of them were 'surprised' and 'amazed' by the rich dinosaur fossils here in Yunan," said Yang. 

Media reported that the discovered dinosaur fossils in the province are based on old land between the west of Southwest China's Sichuan Province and central part of Yunnan, and the ancient land plate has never drifted.

Some scholars believe that the long-term stability of the old land can be the reason that the dinosaur fossils have been completely preserved.

The research of dinosaur fossils has opened a window to Yunnan Province - "kingdom of animals and plants" - to the world for discovering and exploring the place's more diversified species.    

Many Chinese experts in biodiversity research told the Global Times that Yunnan  - the "Green Bank of Species" - deserves COP15 as it not only owns abundant species, but also boasts a rich genus of dinosaurs.

"The study of dinosaurs could be helpful to the study of other species that lived in the same era with dinosaurs. In the Mesozoic era, dinosaurs dominated," said You. 

"The convening of COP15 is of great significance to the sustainable development of the earth's life community," he noted.