On March 10th, the Chinese Society of Paleontology released the results of the "Top Ten Advances in Chinese Paleontology in 2021" in Nanjing.The international team led by Prof. Zhang Zhifei from our university's early life research team discovered the earliest known fossil moss animal (mossworm) on Earth, which was selected as one of the top ten advances in paleontology.
It is also known that other two achievements of "Unlocking the dynamic evolution and adaptive genetic evolution of ancient populations in East Asia on a long time scale" and "Late Paleozoic fossil treasure trove 'Plant Pompeii' system study" led by Northwest University alumni Prof. Fu Qiaomei and Prof. Wang Jun have been respectively selected as "Top Ten Annual Advances in Chinese Paleontology".
The discovery of this fossil further supports the hypothesis of "the formation of the Earth's faunal tree and the three-act Cambrian explosion" proposed by Academician Shu Degan's team, and completes the process of building the Cambrian Earth's faunal tree over a period of 40 million years. It has effectively connected the chain of fossil evidence of the explosive and phased appearance of the three major subclasses of the Earth's fauna (basal, protostomatid and poststomatid). This discovery pushes the geological history of the mossy fauna phylum forward from the Ordovician to the early Cambrian explosion by at least 50 million years. The related results were published in Nature.