Next to Beijing Zoo, the largest Jurassic Park in Asia

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 Next to Beijing Zoo, the largest Jurassic Park in Asia


On the fourth floor of the Research Institute, in the observation room of the Herbarium, Xu Xing, deputy director of the Institute of ancient vertebrae, the king of dinosaurs, invited a national treasure level collection, the fossil of Microraptor.

This text, from the fourth grade primary school language textbook in a text - flying to the blue sky dinosaur.. Its author is Xu Xing, the scientist who named dinosaurs the most in the world, and it is the Gus little Raptor who once flew to the blue sky to provide strong evidence for birds originated from dinosaurs.

The most distinctive feature of this fossil specimen is that it not only retains the skeleton structure, but also has clear flake feather marks. From the fossil, we can see that there are black feather marks on the forelimbs and hind limbs of this elegant four winged and long tailed creature. Xu said this is an important clue that scientists have boldly guessed that it is a flying dinosaur.

Once upon a time, in many popular science books, the image of little Raptor was covered with colorful feathers. Popular science illustrators are full of beautiful imagination for the ancient spirits hundreds of millions of years ago. But what color is the real Raptor? In other words, from the only surviving specimens, can we see its vivid appearance at that time?

Xu Xing said that the feathers of Raptor were actually black. It turns out that under a high-power electron microscope, we can see that there is a subcellular structure in the feathers of raptor, called melanosomes. Different colors of feather melanosomes have different types and distribution. According to these characteristics, scientists have recovered a black all-in-one Microraptor.

But this black is not ordinary black. Xu Xing calls it rainbow color, just like the metallic luster of the back of the swallow and the feathers of the crow.

Raptor is so black!

Under the guidance of Xu Xing, the two doors of the herbarium storeroom slowly opened, and a mysterious world suddenly opened.

There are 240000 pieces of ancient visitors on the neat and dense specimen shelf. They are far away from the mountains and seas, through hundreds of millions of years of time, to find a new home here.

On the specimen table, the exquisite and complete dinosaur was covered with Chinese feathers, and the pterosaur with sharp teeth and claws extended its wings. Some people jokingly call the corridor of the ancient vertebrate Institutes storeroom as the most expensive corridor in China. Xu Xing explains that these precious vertebrate fossils are protected by the state and cannot be traded.

At the bottom of the shelf, a huge head is amazing. Xu Xing introduced that this is a skull fossil of Jinzhou dragon, a giant found in western Liaoning Province.

Before the 1990s, Liaoning Province was one of the least discovered dinosaur fossils in China. Over the past 20 years, paleontologists have explored and gained a lot in this area called Jehol biota. Now it has become the province with the largest number of dinosaur species found in China Jinzhoulong, about 7 meters long, is the first large dinosaur found in jehe biota and the largest ornithopod dinosaur found in Liaoning Province.

You see, what does Jinzhou dragons mouth look like? In front of the Jinzhou dragon, the mouth is wide and long, like a ducks beak. By the way, this is because Jinzhou dragon is a duck billed dinosaur. Xu Xing explained.

When it comes to hadrosaur, dinosaur lovers will think of its dense teeth, which makes peoples scalp numb. An adult mouse has 16 teeth, an adult has 32 teeth, and an adult hadrosaur has more than 1000 teeth. How did this terrible number of teeth line up in the hadrosaurs mouth? Xu Xing pointed to the Jinzhou dragon head bone in front of him and explained, if you scan this specimen with CT, you will find that there are still one or two teeth under each tooth of Jinzhou dragon, and the teeth are overlapped.

However, Jinzhou dragon belongs to the primitive type of hadrosaurs, and its reserve team of teeth is not much. A real hadrosaur will have seven or eight teeth in a long alveolar to form a tooth row structure. And there are hundreds of them. This tooth structure helps them grind tough plants and quickly process large amounts of food, thus better adapting to the environment.

Fossil restorers solve prehistoric mystery

The earth has a life history of nearly 4 billion years, while non bird dinosaurs only existed for a period of time in the Mesozoic era, 230 million years ago to 66 million years ago.

When these ancient visitors first appeared in the eyes of scientific researchers, they were not as delicate as they are today.

After walking out of the storehouse of the Institute of paleovertebrae, he came to the fossil repair room. Xiang long, a fossil restorer, was facing the microscope, holding an air pen and a soot blower in his hand. He carefully cleaned up a fossil.

Its amazing to peel off the surrounding rock and see the bones of the living creatures exposed hundreds of millions of years ago.

The restoration of a fossil specimen can take as little as two or three months, or more than one or two years. It seems that the work of grinding people is full of fun in Xiang Longs eyes. Fossils are lifeless, but in the process of restoration, they can really feel that life once existed.

An avatar ikaran pterosaur on display in the Chinese Zoological Museum was restored to the dragon. When I got it, it was a broken specimen that couldnt be distinguished from the front and back. In order to restore it to its original appearance, the restorers can only distinguish the biological structure, and then slowly glue it together without dislocation. This process is also often discussed with researchers.

In the process of restoring a Manchurian crocodile, Xiang Long was puzzled by an unexpected situation. Why is the mandible of this animal in the chest and abdomen? At first, I thought it was he who ate his own kind. After finishing the trimming, the researchers found that she was pregnant after further research! There are seven babies in my stomach

Another exhibit in the Museum of ancient animals, the hunter ghost dragon, is also a clear and intact image of perfect specimen when presented to the audience. Xianglong, on the other hand, said that its original state was fragmented and fuzzy, with some shale lost in the middle and needed to be filled with gypsum.

If it is lost, it is lost. No one can pretend that it is still complete and exists. According to Xiang long, according to research needs, fossil specimens must present the most primitive and authentic side, so the missing part of the fossil can not be filled with other rocks, nor can it be made true or false by coloring.

After working for nearly 20 years, Xianglong has restored hundreds of fossils, and nearly 20 of them have been published in important international academic journals. But he said he was doing a humble job.

My name often appears in the thanks for cutting-edge scientific papers, but ordinary readers dont know who I am. The most taboo of this work is also utilitarianism. The benefits will bring impetuousness, affect the calm state of mind during restoration, and then affect the observation and judgment of fossil characteristics

Xiang Long said that it is the greatest achievement for fossil restorers to provide help for scientific research and make the fossils of hundreds of millions of years old completely present in the publics sight.

Clone assembly makes dinosaurs reborn

When you stand in the museum and gaze at the dinosaur skeletons in front of you, they are so lifelike that you even fear that this ancient overlord will revive and run like the movie Jurassic Park.

A set of assembled dinosaur fossils will bring such visual shock and artistic tension to the audience. Because what it shows is not the story of fossil excavation in recent years, but the life story of dinosaurs hundreds of millions of years ago.

The dinosaur fossils discovered by researchers can be ready for exhibition after the processes of transportation, cleaning, restoration, reinforcement, measurement, mapping and research. In the vast majority of cases, however, there is not so much luck to excavate an entire fossil skeleton. How to deal with lack of arms and legs? Wang Xiaolong told reporters that in fact, the fossils seen in the museum are not necessarily true.

What Wang Xiaolong and his team are putting together is a big guy about 15 meters long - panzhilong. This guy should have more than 200 bones, and we have less than a third of them. What can I do? Wang Xiaolong explained that if you want to display the bones completely, you need to compare the skeletons of dinosaurs of the same or similar species and clone the missing parts. In the past, gypsum and steel were often used for imitation. Recently, glass fiber with lighter weight and higher strength is generally used.

(function(){( window.slotbydup=window .slotbydup||[]).push({id:u5811557,container:ssp_ 5811557, async:true }After the completion of the replenishment, the scientists have to design the exhibition form on paper based on the animal anatomy and the typical characteristics of the dinosaurs life period, as the basis for assembly. Finally, all the components are assembled on the scaffold, and a dinosaur fossil skeleton is completed.

After the completion of the replenishment, the scientists have to design the exhibition form on paper based on the animal anatomy and the typical characteristics of dinosaur life period, as the basis for assembly. Finally, all the components are assembled on the scaffold, and a dinosaur fossil skeleton is completed.

Wang Xiaolong said that the pan foot dragon in hand needs to be assembled for five months to complete.

From being excavated out to being displayed in the museum, this process is like the second birth of dinosaurs, which is full of love and hard work of countless staff.

Reporter Sun Leqi