High-precision 40Ar/39Ar age for the Jehol Biota

Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology (Impact Factor: 2.34). 09/2009; 280(1):94-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.06.021


Abundant fossils of the terrestrial Jehol Biota, including plants, insects, dinosaurs, birds, mammals and freshwater invertebrates, were discovered from the Yixian Formation and the overlying Jiufotang Formation in Inner Mongolia, Hebei Province and Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Because of the exceptional preservation of fossils, the Jehol Biota is one of the most important Mesozoic lagerstätten and is referred to as a “Mesozoic Pompeii”. The Jehol Biota has provided a rare opportunity to address questions about the origin of birds, the evolution of feathers and flight, the early diversification of angiosperms and the timing of placental mammal radiation. Six tuff samples and two basalt samples collected from the Tuchengzi, the Yixian and the Jiufotang formations near the classic outcrops in western Liaoning, NE China yielded high-precision 40Ar/39Ar ages. We obtain an age of 129.7 ± 0.5 Ma for a basaltic lava from the bottom of the Yixian Formation and an age of 122.1 ± 0.3 Ma for a tuff from the lowermost part of the overlying Jiufotang Formation. Our age results provide an age calibration of the whole Yixian Formation and show that the whole formation was deposited entirely within Early Cretaceous time over an interval of ~ 7 Ma.

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Available from: Haichun Zhang, Nov 17, 2014
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    • "The age of Yixian Formation is regarded as Early Cretaceous (latest Barremian to earliest Aptian) and linked to a radioisotope-dating of ca. 125 Ma. (Yang et al., 2007; Zhu et al., 2007; Chang et al., 2009; Zhou and Wang, 2010; Pan et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Two new species, Cretohypna puncta sp. nov. and Cretohypna robusta sp. nov., of Glaphyridae are described and illustrated. These fossils were collected from the Jehol Biota, Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liutiaogou Village in Ningcheng, Inner Mongolia, China. Up to date, 18 fossil species in 6 genera of Glaphyridae have been reported, among which ten species are from China. Respective keys to the Mesozoic genera of Glaphyridae and to species of Cretohypna Yan, Nikolajev & Ren, 2012 are provided. This is the first report of spiracles in fossil Glaphyridae leading to a hypothesis that the character of the 7th abdominal spiracles present in pleural membrane is a plesiomorphy for Glaphyridae.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016 · Cretaceous Research
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    • "Recent discoveries from China fossil rock beds in the Yixian formation (Early Cretaceous , Aptian-Berrenian, 121.0–125.0 Mya, Chang et al., 2009) and in the Daohugou beds (Middle Jurassic , Oxfordian, 157.3–163.5 Mya, Wang et al., 2005) as well as Myanmar amber fossils (Late Cretaceous, Cenomanian , 93.9–100.5 Mya) changed substantially our knowledge of the fossil record in this family (Grebennikov & Newton, 2012; Cai et al., 2014). These newly discovered fossils extend the earliest records of carrion beetles (Silphidae) by about 130 Myr, the one of the subfamily Nicrophorinae by about 100 Myr, and the one of burying beetles (Nicrophorus) by about 90 Myr (Cai et al., 2014). "

    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
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    • "Until recently radiometric dating and paleomagnetic correlations show that the Yixian and Jiufotang Formation are mainly Barremian e middle Aptian in age (e.g. Chang et al., 2009; Smith et al., 1995; Swisher et al., 1999; Yang et al., 2007; Zhu et al., 2007). However it is still difficult to realize precise correlation between the Jehol Group and the contemporaneous marine strata. "
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    ABSTRACT: The early Aptian abrupt carbon isotope excursion in marine carbonate and sedimentary organic matter reflects a major perturbation in the global carbon cycle. However, until now almost all the evidences of this event came from marine deposits. Here we present organic-carbon isotope (δ13Corg) data from the non-marine Jehol Group in western Liaoning, China. The lacustrine δ13Corg curve is marked by a relative long-lasting δ13Corg minimum followed by two stages of positive δ13Corg excursions that are well correlated with contemporaneous marine records. The carbon isotope correlation shows that the lacustrine strata of the Jehol Group were deposited at the same time of the early Aptian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE1a). The relative long-lasting δ13Corg minimum supports the hypothesis that volcanic CO2 emission may have played the main role in triggering the negative δ13C excursion and global warming at the onset of this event. In addition, the onset of δ13Corg minimum is concomitant with the radiation of the Jehol Biota, implying that the evolutionary radiation of the Jehol Biota may have been closely related with the increase in atmospheric CO2 and temperature.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Cretaceous Research
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