Discoveries are a driving force for progress in palaeontology. Palaeontology as a discipline of scientific inquiry has gained many fresh insights into the history of life, from the discoveries of many new fossils in China in the last 20 years, and from the new ideas derived from these fossils. This special issue of Proceedings of Royal Society B entitled Recent Advances in Chinese Palaeontology selects some of the very latest studies aimed at resolving the current problems of palaeontology and evolutionary biology based on new fossils from China. These fossils and their studies help to clarify some historical debates about a particular fossil group, or to raise new questions about history of life, or to pose a new challenge in our pursuit of science. These works on new Chinese fossils have covered the whole range of the diversity through the entire Phanerozoic fossil record.
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