Guanling Fossil National Geopark – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

Guanling Fossil National Geopark

Guanling Fossil National Geopark (关岭化石群国家地质公园) harbors a treasure trove of ancient biological fossils dating back approximately 220 million years to a bay environment of the Triassic period. Situated in China, this park stands out as a remarkable repository of rare Triassic-era biological fossils, showcasing an array of marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, sauropterygians, and placodonts. Additionally, the park boasts exquisite specimens of diverse marine life including crinoids, ammonites, bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, and terrestrial plants preserved in unusual locations.

The Triassic fossils at Guanling, particularly those of marine reptiles and crinoids, are unparalleled in their abundance, variety, quality of preservation, and peculiar forms, making them a global rarity and placing them among the world’s finest. Beyond their aesthetic appeal and value for collectors, these fossils hold paramount scientific significance in unraveling the late Triassic stratigraphy, paleontology, paleoecology, paleobiogeography, and taphonomy, as well as in the classification and evolution of marine reptiles and crinoids.

The discovery of crinoid fossil assemblages in Guanling traces back to the 1940s when their distinctive resemblance to lotus leaves and their graceful, colossal forms garnered attention not only for their research value but also as coveted treasures for museums and private collectors worldwide. In the 1990s, the park witnessed further discoveries of marine reptile fossils.

Based on the fossils unearthed so far, it’s believed that the marine creatures of Guanling thrived around 220 to 230 million years ago, inhabiting oceans with depths ranging from approximately 200 to 500 meters. Due to the tranquil depositional environment of that era, marine reptiles, along with fish, crinoids, and numerous invertebrates, were exceptionally well-preserved. Subsequent geological processes and petrifaction led to the formation of a fossil repository showcasing marine reptiles and crinoids.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price80 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 17.00

Location and Transportation

Guanling Fossil National Geopark is situated in Guanling Buyei and Miao Autonomous County, Anshun City, Guizhou Province, near the Grand Canyon of Huajiang River. The core area of the park covers 0.94 square kilometers, while the fossil distribution area spans 200 square kilometers. Visitors can reach Guanling by taking a bus from either Guiyang or Anshun. From Guanling, the remaining 25 kilometers to the geopark can be covered by taxi.

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