Monday, December 18, 2006

Protected Sites:Fossil Site of Lama Ape Man

The Fossil Site of the Lama Ape man is located on Miaoshan Mountain in Shihuiba Village, nine kilometers northeast of Lufeng County in Yunnan Province.

The site covers an area of over 20,000 square meters, with a fossil deposit about five meters thick. Many excavations were carried out at the site between 1975 and 1982 where over 1,000 Lama Ape man and Xiwa Ape man fossils were unearthed. Among the fossils are skulls, jawbones, limb bones and teeth, including a near-complete jawbone with 12 teeth (frontal teeth, canines and premolars). Also unearthed at the site are fossils of over 10 species of animals, such as three-toed horse, rhinoceros and antelope.

The first skull fossil of the Lama Ape man was discovered on April 9, 1980. The Lama Ape man was the transitional form in the evolution from ape to man, and possessed many features of early, primitive man. Dating back over 8 million years, the Lama Ape man was reputed as the ancestor of human beings. The discovery of the Lama Ape-man filled the gap in the evolutionary process between the Kaiyuan Ape man that existed 15 million years ago and the Yuanmou Man of 1.7 million years ago. The discovery provides important insight into the study of the Ape Man's position in the evolutionary cycle and the time and place of human origin.

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