Starting at 2:00pm, July 31, 2011, we first drive 140km along the Lanzhou Lingxia Expressway from Lanzhou to Lingxia via Hezheng County, then drive along the National Highway No.223 for 87km, and lastly drive 30km on a special road to Xiahe – our destination today. The total length of Lanzhou to Xiahe is about 258km. Before we reached Xiahe, we stopped at Hezheng for a short tour of Hezheng Musuem of Paleontologic Fossils.
Hezheng is a county under the administration of Lingxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province with an area of 960 square km and a population of 200,000. Hezheng is located 30km to the southeast of Lingxia City. The county’s average altitude is 2200 meters. The Lanzhou Lingxia Expressway runs through the Hezheng County from north to south. The 110km drive from Lanzhou to Hezheng takes us one hour.
Hezheng Museum of Paleontologic Fossils has tons of prehistoric animal fossils including giant rhinoceros animals, platybelodon (shovel tusker) animal groups, equus animal groups and popularization activities.
The Museum boasts of being the No.01 in the following six aspects:
1.The Unique Hezheng’s ovibos in the world
2.The richest fossils of the Hipparion in the world
3.The richest shovel elephant fossils in the wrold
4.The largest hyaena in the world
5.The largest horse in the world
6.The earliest woodly rhino in the world
So in the museum, you will see many ancient and extinct animals, such as shovel tusked elephants, ancient giraffes with relatively short necks, premitive horses with three toes, rhino without horns, and a peculiar muskox that is known only in the Lingxia basin.
These animals became extinct due to the dramatic changes of environment of climate of the past. Through these animals, people will learn the mysteries of evolution and the wonders of the changing nature.
The musuem guide gives us a brief introduction to the distribution of the prehistoric fossils in Hezheng and Lingxia basin.
The hyaena fossils
Shovel elephant fossils
Unique Hezheng’s sheep fossils
The ancient giraffe fossils