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The Dinosaur Valley of Lufeng

Lufeng is the home of dinosaurs of China; the World Dinosaur Valley at Ana Village is the biggest dinosaur fossils area in the world.

The World Dinosaur Valley of Lufeng – Lufeng Dinosaurs Relics, Chuxiong, Yunnan

In China, and even throughout the world, Lufeng is a well-known area where dinosaur fossils were discovered in great quantity, even complete skeletons and of many species. For this reason, Lufeng has won the fame of “Home of Dinosaurs”. The first phase of the project being constructed–Chuanjie Jurassic World Tour Region of Lufeng will be open to the visitors in June 2008. Then, Chuanjie Jurassic World Tour Region of Lufeng including spreading science, recreation, leisure, and spending a holiday will appear on the KunmingChuxiongDaliLijiang golden tourism route.

Attention: Chuanjie Tour Region of Lufeng close to Anning-Chuxiong Express Way is only 80 kilometers from Kunming. It takes only one hour to drive on the expressway. It’s very convenient.

Related articles: Chuxiong Travel Guide, Yuanmou Man site, The Dinosaur Valley of Lufeng, Shizi Shan, The Lion Mountain

Basic Information

Geographic location: It is located in Ana Village, Chuanjie Township, Lufeng County, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province.

Scenic status: a 4A national tourist attraction and No.1 place for Dinosaur Scientific Study in China and also in the World.

Tour time: 2 ~ 3 hours

Travel Tips

  1. Lufeng is the home of dinosaurs of China; the World Dinosaur Valley at Ana Village is the biggest dinosaur fossils buried area in the world and the largest number of frame dinosaur fossils under the roof and the dinosaur fossils collection for exhibition, which has great significance in the scientific study of the evolution of dinosaurs of three geological periods—Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.
  2. Three world records broken by dinosaur fossil resources at World Dinosaur Valley: The world’s largest indoor dinosaur fossil preservation site; the world’s largest scale exhibition halls for restored and mounted dinosaur fossil specimens, and the exhibition area for the world classic collection of dinosaur fossils.
  3. “Lufeng Dinosaur” stamps, the first set with dinosaur patterns, were issued by China State Postal Bureau on 15 April 1958. This set of Chinese Ancient Extinct Life stamps consists of three pieces. The second is a picture of a restored skeleton of Lufengosaurus huenei Young in the Mesozoic era. It is also the first dinosaur stamp ever issued in the world, and quite popular among large numbers of stamp collectors.
  4. Eight firsts of Lufeng dinosaur rankings in the world: (1). the widest existent span; (2). the first co-existence of a variety of dinosaur species; (3). the highest level of preservation for dinosaur individuals; (4). the most centralized dinosaur burying area; (5). the most species and categories of fossils of reptiles with Lufeng dinosaurs being the representative; (6). the dinosaur fossil discovered in Ana village in Lufeng being one of the longest dinosaur fossils ever discovered in the world; (7). the most intense restoration of the dinosaur fossils; (8). “Lufeng Dinosaur” stamps being the first set with dinosaur patterns in the world.

Recommended Tour Route

The terraced plaza → the landscape gate → the dinosaur sculpture avenue → landscape wall → Lufeng Dinosaur Relics Hall → Science Exploration Site → Jurassic World → some recreation areas.

Key Points

Overview of the World Dinosaur Valley, the discovery of dinosaur fossils, the construction of the Hall of dinosaur Relics, and the significance of the dinosaur evolution in geological history.

Dinosaur Valley of Lufeng

A Brief Introduction to Lufeng  the Place Where Dinosaurs Sprang Up

Lufeng County also called “Home of Dinosaurs”, lies in the central part of Yunnan Province. It is under the jurisdiction of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and in the east of the prefecture, neighboring Kunming, the capital city of the province.

The county covers an area of 3,536 square kilometers, with a population of 400,000. Residents here include 25 nationalities such as Han, Yi, Miao, Hui, Lisu, Bai, with a quarter of the population made up of minority nationalities.

Lufeng County was the passageway of the Southern Silk Road of ancient China. Yunnan-Burma Road, Chengdu-Kunming Railway, Trans-Asia Railway, and the grand passageway of west Yunnan — Kunming-Ruili Express Way runs through this area. It boasts convenient traffic and a solid base of industries, thriving agriculture, and abundant natural resources.

Beautiful mountains, rivers, and colorful minority ethnic cultures coexist here, forming the well-known spectacle of natural scenery and human cultures, such as Wutai Mountain, Diaoling Mountain, Dinosaur Mountain, the heritage site of prehistoric primate, and Heijing Old Town.

Lufeng Red Bed, the bed of Jurassic Dinosaurs

In the basin of Lufeng and its surrounding areas of hundreds of square kilometers extends a land of red soil, the Lufeng red bed. It displays a variety of colors: purple-red, brown-yellow, purple-gray, green-gray, dark-purple, yellow-white, brown-red, pinkish-red, yellow-green, and so on. These continental formations formed in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.

At that time, there were water marshes, lakes, and basins everywhere, and fishes, freshwater mussels (clam), mussel-shrimp, and Estherian living in the water. The climate was warm and humid; rivers and lakes developed all over, crocodiles occupied the riversides and lakeshore; the plants were flourishing, ferns, sago cycad (Cycas revolute), pines and cypresses spreading widely; dinosaurs and Therapsid animals were the lords of the land. The corpses of those animals and plants remained in the land-facies and river-lake facies sedimentary beds forming the rich Mesozoic fossil-bearing places such as Jinshan, Luochuan, Chuanjie, Zhongcun, and Shezi.

For many generations, the Han, Yi, and other minorities living on the red land of Lufeng often found the various grotesque and fantastic “dragon bones” in the red earth while working in the fields. They thought that the legendary dragons were magically powerful and were able to summon wind and rain or control the forces of nature, so their bones must be spiritual. They took the bones home and placed them at the front of their houses to protect the family and ward off the evil spirits. The braver ones even took the vertebras home and made the sunken parts as oil lamps. Some used the dragon bones as the construction materials for their houses.

In the war-ridden year of 1938, the Chinese geologists Bian Meinian and Wang Cunyi came to Lufeng for a geological survey. They discovered a lot of dragon bone fossils in the red earth, fence walls built with earth and stones for the vegetable gardens, and their house foundations. After careful identification and study, they believed that those dragon bones were the fossils of dinosaurs, the overlords living here hundreds of millions of years ago. Professor Yang Zhongjian, the well-known Chinese paleontologist, also came to Lufeng from the war-indulging area of north China and devoted himself to a study of Lufeng dinosaurs with high patriotic enthusiasm. They discovered “Lufeng dinosaurs”, “Triassic dinosaurs” and “Lugo dinosaurs”. Their achievement of the study surprised the world and Lufeng gained the reputation of “home of Dinosaurs” ever since.

Through over 60 years’ exploration and study, more than 100 dinosaur fossils have been excavated. The named dinosaurs are 10 genus and 12 species, including early, middle, and late Jurassic dinosaur fossils, the vertebrate fossils’ categories with 24 genus and 36 species. These ancient animals include fishes, amphibians, tortoises, crocodiles, lizards, dinosaurs and early mammals. The names of dinosaur fossils discovered in Lufeng are the Yunnan dinosaur, the Jinshan dinosaur, the Kunming dinosaur, the Yin’s Lugo dinosaur, the China dinosaur, the double spine dinosaur, the Ao’s land dinosaur, the Dian dinosaur, the Bian’s dinosaur and so on.

Lufeng Dinosaur Museum was set up in 1990. The People’s Government of Lufeng County decided to hold the “Lufeng Dinosaur Culture Festival” from October 1st to 7th every year since October 1991. The purpose is to promote the dinosaur culture and local economy. The construction of “Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley”, at an investment of 1.6 billion RMB, brings Lufeng dinosaur culture into the international and domestic tourist industry and makes Lufeng a paradise for tourism, scientific exploration, entertainment, and recreation.

Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley

Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley is located at the Dinosaur Hill of Changtian Village, Ana Village Committee, Chuanjie Township, Lufeng County, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. It is 80 kilometers away from Kunming, 75 kilometers from Chuxiong, and 30 kilometers from Lufeng County seat. Kunming-Dali Express Way makes it easy access.

The construction area of Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley is 4 square kilometers and the core area is one square kilometer. This project is based on the dinosaur fossil resources and the Dinosaur relics of Lufeng, Yuanmou, and Shuangbai in Chuxiong Prefecture to build a similar Jurassic landscape with giant and thick fern plants of the Mesozoic time. On the base of Lufeng National Dinosaur Geo-Park and with a dinosaur as its subject, Lufeng Jurassic World Park is built into an Oriental Disneyland for sightseeing, entertainment, recreation, holiday, science exploration, investigation, and research.

The park consists of the Entrance-Parking area, Jurassic Prosperity area, Dinosaur extinction area, Performance area, Recreation area, and Landscape construction area.

Entrance Area

The entrance area is composed of the terraced plaza, the landscape gate, the dinosaur sculpture avenue, the landscape wall, and so on. Ascending to the landscape wall, a pretty lake comes into sight. In the front is the Jurassic valley surrounded by greens and a lake with rippling water. On the right side is a hill with an exposed red sand rock. Lufeng Dinosaur Relics Hall is built on one side. The rolling hill behind is the scientific exploration site of the Jurassic geological section.

The theme of Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley is “Going into the dinosaur kingdom of a hundred million years ago, traveling through the breathtaking and mysterious Jurassic world, interpreting the rise and fall of the global life, and revealing the natural phenomenon of the earth evolution”.

Lufeng Dinosaur Relics Hall

Lufeng Dinosaur Relics Hall is composed of 3 sets of buildings: Dinosaur Knowledge Palace, Time Tunnel, and Dinosaur Relics Hall. The Dinosaur Relics Hall has a size of 8,817 square meters, with an investment of 80 million RMB. The accessory building, the Dinosaur Knowledge Palace, covers an area of 3,000 square meters, with the Time Tunnel linking the two buildings. Lufeng Dinosaur Relics Hall is an imposing landmark on West Yunnan Expressway.

Dinosaur Knowledge Palace is the preface hall of China Lufeng Dinosaur Relics Hall. It is the museum of the earth, life, and the knowledge of dinosaurs with the largest dinosaur fossil collection, highest science technology, and the strongest interactive feature. The Dinosaur knowledge Palace consists of exhibition halls such as the Earth Hall, Life Evolution Corridor, and the Dinosaur Kingdom, as well as the circular-screen movie hall, the interactive recreation hall, the framed dinosaur hall, the paleontology study center, and the Lufeng dinosaur work office. Among them, the circular-screen movie hall brings visitors into a terrific time of the meteorite fall from heaven, the volcanic eruption, the earth shaking, and dinosaur extinction. In the recreation hall, visitors can play games such as the search for dinosaur eggs, jigsaw puzzles, racing, and taking photos with “dinosaurs”. They can also do various competition games and make framed dinosaur models.

The Time Tunnel brings visitors into the home of Lufeng dinosaurs, back to the Lufeng basin a hundred million years ago, and witness the rise and fall of Lufeng dinosaurs.

The Dinosaur Relics Hall is built with a concrete frame structure of block axis-net roof to protect the natural environment of the dinosaur fossil discovered area in order to provide information on the complete fossils and the geological landform. The design and the construction can compare favorably with the Terracotta Museum of Xi’an.

The Dinosaur Relics Hall is the largest and most mysterious dinosaur fossil-bearing area. Here visitors can see the large dinosaur fossil excavation site and the biggest framed dinosaur groups. It seems that every dinosaur is vividly telling a story which is a real record of the time of hundreds of millions of years ago.

The Dinosaur Relics Hall consists of 3 parts: the relics protection area, the excavation site, and the display hall of Lufeng framed dinosaurs. The relics protection area presents the original bearing state; the excavation site shows the appearance of the dinosaur fossils under excavation and other fossil-bearing conditions. The most magnificent is the display hall of Lufeng dinosaurs which demonstrate 50 framed dinosaur fossils unearthed in Chuxiong Prefecture. It is seen at the top of the world and in the Guinness World record.

The Science Exploration Site

The Science Exploration Site, with the Jurassic geological section, dinosaur relics pots, and fossil rooms, is a wonderful place for visitors to enjoy the field exploration, and to obtain paleontology and geology knowledge. The fossil excavation, dinosaur DIY work, and science exploration development base under the direction of the specialists help visitors to expand their knowledge. The relevant activities are a good combination of knowledge and entertainment.

The Jurassic World

The Jurassic World is situated in a valley on the west side of the Jurassic Relics Hall. The natural valley landform, the artificial lake, river, and waterfall reproduce a living scene of the Jurassic dinosaur kingdom. There are 2 tour routes, a water route, and a land track. Boating or trekking, one will travel through four areas: “going back the Jurassic time”, “Taking Jurassic adventure”, “Swimming in dinosaur lake”, and “Dinosaurs getting together in Lufeng”. The Jurassic World is the most exciting and most plentiful tourist area in the park.

Following the footprints of dinosaurs, the trekking visitors can get into a prehistoric jungle. They will experience the sudden attack by dinosaurs, lightning breaking the heaven, thundering, and storming.

Visitors can take a surfing boat and flow through tunnels carved with different dinosaur patterns. The boat goes slowly into the jungle and takes visitors into a mysterious and peaceful world of antiquity: the grass-eating gentle and mild dinosaurs stretch their necks to eat and chew the leaves with their bodies reflected into the water. Boating gently forward, visitors can see the wing dinosaurs fly into the lovely garden of the dinosaur cartoon of “Lu Lu” and “Feng Feng”. “Lu Lu” and “Feng Feng” are leisurely shaking their bodies and singing happily, with the tunnel full of singing and laughing. Going forward in the boat, visitors will find that trees become fewer and scattered; red rocks come upon; red lights are flashing, and the volcano is erupting. The boat suddenly flies down into the Dinosaur Lake and splashes white water in the screaming of visitors. The surprised dinosaurs howl, which brings visitors laughing and smiling in the water and ashore.

Song of Chinese Dinosaurs

“Dinosaurs getting together in Lufeng” is a performance of Dream World. It is a visual play and interaction revelry of high technology, with both performers and audiences involved. The audiences can enjoy the stimulation of the sensory organs and the spiritual pleasure when feeling the close shock of the disaster reproduction in interacting with performers in a mood of relaxation and joy. Visitors who have lingering interests can join the performance at the neighboring Jurassic Jianiahua Plaza to show their skills. The winner will get a bonus, either a golden egg of dinosaur or a small dinosaur model “Lu Lu” or “ Feng Feng”.

The dinosaur kingdom lording over the earth for 160 million years suddenly disappeared 65 million years before the coming of human beings, which have left over many unsettled queries and mysteries. All these mysteries are recorded in the dinosaur fossils excavated one by one, and every new discovery of dinosaur fossils is a focus of new media. The exploration of the dinosaur origin, evolution, distribution, and extinction have always been an attraction to the world. Why those animals living in the remote past have such a great charm to us today? Maybe it is because dinosaurs were the most successful animal group lived on the earth, or maybe it is because human beings attempted to explore the environment and the future of the earth, the home of mankind, through the study of the event of the dinosaur extinction.

In the middle of the last century, the movie “Jurassic Park” made in the USA brought the success of an industry. Dinosaur culture soon became a big sale in tourism. In 2004, Lufeng dinosaur resources, with its exceptional advantages, finally realized its attachment with financial capital after over 60 years’ sleep. The dinosaur kings returned to gather in Lufeng, and they started to play a principal role in Lufeng Jurassic World Park. All of this is due to the origin of dinosaurs.

It is known to all that the dinosaur fossils are spread all over the world and all the dinosaur fossils are known abroad were discovered in the rocky “wasteland” of the middle-west part of North America. Countries with the most dinosaur fossil resources are China, the USA, Canada, Mongolia, Argentina, and Brazil. In China, the dinosaur fossils are distributed everywhere except Taiwan and Fujian. There are 16 places named “home of dinosaurs” and 17 dinosaur museums. The most well-known dinosaur places are Lufeng County of Yunnan Province, Zigong City of Sichuan Province, Erlianhaote City of Inner-Mongolia, Xunxian County of Hubei Province, Nanyang City of Henan Province, and Heyuan City of Guangdong Province.

Lufeng and Zigong are the dinosaur burial grounds at the world level. Lufeng became known to the world in 1938 as China’s first complete framed dinosaur fossil excavated by Mr. Bian Meinian and Mr. Wang Cunyi, the two assistants of Professor Yang Zhongjian. In the past over 60 years, many paleontologists came to Lufeng for exploration and excavation one after another. Lufeng became the Eden for dinosaur fossil collectors, and the world-known producer as well. Lufeng dinosaur fossils are mentioned in all the textbooks of paleontology. The dinosaur fossils and the associated animal fossils excavated in Lufeng Basin are named Lufeng Giant Sauropoda Dinosaur Animal Group, which is one of the most plentiful and a complete ancient animal groups discovered in China and even the World so far.

In 1995, a new dinosaurs’ burial ground was discovered in Chuanjie Township in Lufeng County. The dinosaur fossil and the associated Paleo-fossils in the same sections of the Early-, Mid- and Later Jurassic times can be found in no other places in the world so far.

In 1997,the Chinese paleontologists and the geologists from the University of Notre Dame of USA worked together for 3-year field exploration. They unearthed 12 individual dinosaur fossils in the scope of 380 square meters of exposed area. Eleven of these fossils are giant Sauropoda dinosaurs with 4 paws. One of them, 19 meters long, remains a complete bone frame. There is one fossil bone frame of a flesh-eating Theropoda dinosaur, about 6 meters long. There are also many complete snake-necked turtle fossils excavated from the pit.

According to the analysis of buried ground, the scope of this group is about 10,000 square meters, and over 100 dinosaurs are estimated to be buried here. Professor Richy J. Keith of the University of Notre Dame held that this dinosaur burial ground is the best of the world for its quantity and quality. It will exceed the fossil preserve over the National Dinosaur Memorial Place in UT of the USA.

From January to March 2002, a 120 square meters prospecting pit was dug at the west side of the dinosaur hill to prove the quantity of the dinosaur fossil buried in this fossils pit of Chuanjie. The dinosaur fossils unearthed is in accordance with the prediction. The biggest one of the shoulder blades is 1.9 meters, the biggest in Asia. According to this analysis, this dinosaur body should be 30 meters long. Surely there will be over a hundred dinosaurs reserved in this burial ground, which will be a great wonder of the world when they are completely excavated.

Lufeng Chuanjie Dinosaur Hill is rich in Paleontological resources and concentrated fossils reserve. The high popularity of dinosaur fossils in the world, with its distinctiveness, its appreciation, and scientific values, and its great attraction, contributes greatly to the development of tourism. Therefore, the construction of the Lufeng Jurassic Dinosaur Relics Museum is not only the capital power invested to protect and study the dinosaur fossil resources, but also creates a grand prospect for the development of popular science tourism and culture recreation. Professor Dong Zhiming, the well-known dinosaur specialist and the research fellow of the Institute of the Vertebrate Paleontology China Academy, said that the dinosaur fossil resources of Lufeng were not only of great influences and high academic value in the world paleontology history but also possessed great potential for developing tourism. The Jurassic World Park should enjoy a No.1 place as popular science tourism and culture recreation.

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