Two Early Cretaceous fishes discovered from the most northern area of China: implications for the palaeobiogeography of the Jehol Biota



From a newly discovered Early Cretaceous fossil site at the Sanlianhe Coal Mine in Tahe County, Heilongjiang Province, the most northern area in China, two freshwater fossil fish had been recovered. This paper reports their classifications and implications regarding the palaeobiogeography of the Jehol Biota. The fish assemblage consists of Yanosteus sp. (Acipenseriforms) and Sinamia sp. (Amiiformes). Both are important members of the well known Jehol Biota, and their occurrence supports the correlation of the Yiliekede Formation at Sanlianhe Coal Mine site with the Jiufotang Formation of West Liaoning. The remains of the Yanosteus sp. from this locality is the first known record of the genus other than in the Yan-Liao area of China, and the specimens of Sinamia sp. is quite similar to what may be a new species of Sinamia from West Liaoning. The new fossil site represents the most northern site that is undoubtedly part of the extent of the Jehol Biota as currently understood. The northern Great Xing'an Range area is an important region that may link correlations between the Early Cretaceous continental biotas of China, Mongolia and Russia. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.