History and Culture

Fossils returned to China

2018-01-14 09:04:00 (Beijing Time)         Xinhua

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Photo taken on Jan. 13, 2018 shows a piece of fossil at a paleontological museum in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.(Xinhua/Yang Qing)

Eight fossils of dinosaurs and a bird dating back at least 125 million years have been returned to China from Europe.

On Saturday, the fossils, including seven of dinosaurs with feathers and one of a primitive bird, went on display at a paleontological museum in northeast China's Liaoning Province. They were originally found in the province.

The fossils went overseas for one reason or another, but in 2017, a French fossil collector decided to return them to China.

"The eight fossils are significant in research about the origin of birds and the relations between dinosaurs and birds," said paleontologist Sun Ge.

Dinosaur expert Xu Xing said that the fossils are an indicator that dinosaurs could have developed feathers in their early stage, and that one branch of them could have grown smaller and smaller, before eventually evolving into birds.

Since a fossil protection regulation went into effect in 2011, more than 5,000 fossils taken overseas have been returned to China.