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YIN Zongjun
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39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China


        My present research focus on origin and early evolution of multicellular animals. Hence, to discovery the early animal fossils is the most important task for me. In South China, the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation (635-551 million-year-old) is widely distributed, and from the deposits several fossil lagarst?tten such as Lantian biota and Weng’an biota, have been discovered. Among these fossil assemblages, three dimensionally phosphatized animal embryo-like fossils from Weng’an attracted world-wide attention, because they have been taken as the oldest fossil records of animals on the planet since 1998, and provide a unique taphonomy window to explore the early evolutionary history of animals. I have been working on the Doushantuo animal microfossils from South China for more than 5 years. Now, I have collected abundant well-preserved fossil specimens, and applied synchrotron X-ray microtomography to reconstruct their three dimensional architectures. According to our data, I believe that multicellular animals exists in Doushantuo Formation. However, the affinity of these microfossils is still under debate at present. Different interpretations including bacteria, protists, animal embryos and multicellular algae have been proposed by different groups. Therefore, to collect more specimens and share the data and ideas between different groups is the best way to solve the controversial problem, and this is also what I want to do at present.






1.          Zongjun Yin*, Weichen Sun#, Pengju Liu, Maoyan Zhu, Philip C.J. Donoghue*. 2020. Developmental biology of Helicoforamina reveals holozoan affinity, cryptic diversity and adaptation to heterogeneous environments in the early Ediacaran Weng’an Biota (Doushantuo Formation, South China). Science Advances, 6(24) (2020), eabb0083. (NI)

2.          Weichen Sun#, Zongjun Yin*, John Cunningham, Pengju Liu, Maoyan Zhu, Philip C.J. Donoghue*. 2020. Nucleus preservation in early Ediacaran Weng’an embryo-like fossils, experimental taphonomy of nuclei, and implications for reading the eukaryote fossil record. Interface Focus, 10, 20200015.(封面论文)

3.          Haijing Sun#Zongjun Yin*, Guoxiang Li, Fangchen Zhao, Han Zeng, Maoyan Zhu. 2020. Periodic shell decollation as an ecology driven strategy in the early Cambrian CupithecaPalaeontology, 63(3), 431–442. Doi: 10.1111/pala.12463.

4.          David J. Bottjer*, Zongjun Yin, Fangchen Zhao, Maoyan Zhu. 2020. Comparative taphonomy and phylogenetic signal of phosphatized Weng’an and Kuanchuanpu Biotas. Precambrian Research, 349(2020), 105408.

5.          Haijing Sun#, Fangchen Zhao, Michael Steiner, Guoxiang Li, Lin Na, Bing Pan, Zongjun Yin, Han Zeng, Heyo Van Iten, Maoyan Zhu*. 2020. Skeletal faunas of the lower Cambrian Yu'anshan Formation, easternYunnan, China: Metazoan diversity and community structure during theCambrian Age 3. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 542:109580. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.109580

6.          Zeng, H., Zhao, F., Yin, Z., Zhu, M., A new early Cambrian bivalved euarthropod from Yunnan, China and general interspecific morphological and size variations in Cambrian hymenocarines. Palaeoworld, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2020.09.002.

7.          赵多多#殷宗军*,李国祥,寒武纪早期四方塔型壳属的胚胎发育及其系统学意义,古生物学报,已接受。

8.          苗雨菲#殷宗军*,李国祥,寒武纪早期宽川铺生物群中圆管螺化石显微结构及显微谱学分析,古生物学报,已接受。



1.          Zongjun Yin*, Kelly Vargas#, John Cunningham, Stefan Bengtson, Maoyan Zhu, Federica Marone, Philip Donoghue*. 2019. The Early Ediacaran Caveasphaera Foreshadows the Evolutionary Origin of Animal-like Embryology. Current Biology, 29: 4307-4314. (NI)

2.          Zongjun Yin* and Lu Jing*. 2019. Virtual Palaeontology: when fossils illuminated by X-ray. Palaeoworld, 28, 425–428. (主编的论文专辑)

3.          Emma N.U. Landon#, Pengju Liu, Zongjun Yin*, Weichen Sun, Xiaodong Shang, Philip C.J. Donoghue*. 2019. Cellular preservation of excysting developmental stages of new eukaryotes from the early Ediacaran Weng’an Biota. Palaeoworld, 28, 461–468.

4.          Weichen Sun#Zongjun Yin*, Philip Donoghue, Pengju Liu*, Xiaodong Shang,Maoyan Zhu. 2019. Tubular microfossils from the Ediacaran Weng’an Biota (DoushantuoFormation, South China) are not early animals. Palaeoworld, 28, 469-477.

5.          吴若琳#,吴素萍,殷宗军*.2019.激光共聚焦显微技术在瓮安生物群中的应用.古生物学报,58(1): 130-140.

6.          朱茂炎*,赵方臣,殷宗军,曾晗,李国祥.2019.中国的寒武纪大爆发研究进展与展望.中国科学:地球科学,49(10): 1455-1490.



1.          Zongjun Yin*, Duoduo Zhao#, Bing Pan, Fangchen Zhao, Han Zeng, Guoxiang Li, David J. Bottjer, Maoyan Zhu. 2018. Early Cambrian animal diapause embryos revealed by X-ray tomography. Geology, 46(5):387-390. (NI, 封面论文)

2.          Han Zeng, Fangchen Zhao*, Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu. 2018. Morphology of diverse radiodontan head sclerites from the early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerst?tte, southwest China. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 16(1): 1-37.

3.          Han Zeng, Fangchen Zhao*, Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu. 2018. A new radiodontan oral cone with a unique combination of anatomical features from the early Cambrian Guanshan Lagerst?tte, eastern Yunnan, South China. Journal of Paleontology16(1): 1-37.

4.          Diying Huang*, Gustavo Hormiga, Chenyang Cai, Yitong Su, Zongjun Yin, Fangyuan Xia, Gonzalo Giribet*. 2018. Origin of spiders and their spinning organs illuminated by mid-Cretaceous amber fossils. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(4): 623–627. (NI)

5.          吴素萍,殷宗军*,孙玮辰#,赵多多#,吴若琳#.2018.三维X射线显微技术与小型-微体化石高分辨率无损成像。古生物学报,57(2):157-167.



1.        Zongjun Yin*, John Cunningham, Kelly Vargas, Stefan Bengtson, Maoyan Zhu, Philip C.J. Donoghue*. 2017. Nuclei and nucleoli in embryo-like fossils from the Ediacaran Weng’an biota. Precambrian Research, 301: 145-151.

2.        Yin Zongjun*. The Early Evolution of Animals: Insights from the 600 million-year-old Ediacaran Weng’an biota.2017, Jahrbuch der G?ttinger Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2016(1):169-176.

3.        Han Zeng, Fangchen Zhao*, Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu. 2017. Appendages of an early Cambrian metadoxidid trilobite from Yunnan, SW China support mandibulate affinities of trilobites and artiopods. Geological Magazine: 154 (6): 1306–1328.

4.        Fangchen Zhao*, Martin Smith, Zongjun Yin, Han Zeng, Guoxiang Li, Maoyan Zhu. 2017. Orthrozanclus elongata n. sp. and the significance of sclerite-covered taxa for early trochozoan evolution. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16304-6.

5.        Thomas G Davies, Imran A Rahman, Stephan Lautenschlager, John A Cunningham, Robert J Asher, Paul M Barrett, Karl T Bates, Stefan Bengtson, Roger BJ Benson, Doug M Boyer, José Braga, Jen A Bright, Leon PAM Claessens, Philip G Cox, Xi-Ping Dong, Alistair R Evans, Peter L Falkingham, Matt Friedman, Russell J Garwood, Anjali Goswami, John R Hutchinson, Nathan S Jeffery, Zerina Johanson, Renaud Lebrun, Carlos Martínez-Pérez, Jesús Marugán-Lobón, Paul M O'Higgins, Brian Metscher, Ma?va Orliac, Timothy B Rowe, Martin Rücklin, Marcelo R Sánchez-Villagra, Neil H Shubin, Selena Y Smith, J Matthias Starck, Chris Stringer, Adam P Summers, Mark D Sutton, Stig A Walsh, Vera Weisbecker, Lawrence M Witmer, Stephen Wroe, Zongjun Yin, Emily J Rayfield, Philip C.J. Donoghue*. Open data and digital morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2017, 284(1852): 20170194. (NI)

6.        John Cunningham*, Kelly Vargas, Zongjun Yin, Stefan Bengtson, Philip CJ Donoghue. The Weng'an Biota (Doushantuo Formation): an Ediacaran window on soft-bodied and multicellular microorganisms. Journal of the Geological Society, 2017, 174(5): 793-802.

7.        殷宗军.2017.动物起源和早期演化.科学, 3: 1-5.(特邀内封文章)



1.        Zongjun Yin*, Maoyan Zhu, David J. Bottjer, Fangchen Zhao, Paul Tafforeau. 2016. Meroblastic cleavage identifies some Ediacaran Doushantuo (China) embryo-like fossils as metazoans.Geology, (9):735-738. (NI)

2.        Shixing Zhu, Maoyan Zhu*, Andrew H. Knoll, Zongjun Yin, Fangchen Zhao, Shufen Sun, Yuangao Qu, Min Shi, Huan Liu. 2016. Decimetre-scale multicellular eukaryotes from the 1.56-billion-year-old Gaoyuzhuang Formation in North China. Nature Communications, 7:11500 (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11500) (NI)

3.        朱茂炎,张俊明,杨爱华,李国祥,赵方臣,吕苗,殷宗军,2016. 华南新元古代地层、生-储-盖层发育与沉积环境。见:孙枢、王铁冠主编:中国东部中新元古界地质学与油气资源,第5章。北京科学出版社。107-135.



1.        Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu*, Eric H. Davidson, David J. Bottjer, Fangchen Zhao, Paul Tafforeau. 2015. Sponge grade body fossil with cellular resolution dating 60 Myr before the Cambrian. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 112 (12), E1453-E1460. (NI)

2.        Zongjun Yin, Pengju Liu, Guoxiang Li, Paul Tafforeau, Maoyan Zhu*. 2014. Biological and taphonomic implications of Ediacaran fossil embryos undergoing cytokinesis. Gondwana Research, 25: 1019-1026.

3.        Han Zeng, Fangchen*, Zongjun Yin, Guoxiang Li, Maoyan Zhu. 2014. A Chengjiang-type fossil assemblage from the Hongjingshao Formation (Cambrian Stage 3) at Chenggong, Kunming, Yunnan. Chinese Science Bulletin, 59: 3169–3175.

4.        Fangchen Zhao*, Martin Smith, Zongjun Yin, Han Zeng, Shixue Hu, Guoxiang Li, Maoyan Zhu. 2014. First report of Wiwaxia from the Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerst?tte. Geological Magazine, 152: 378-382.

5.        Fangchen Zhao*, Jean-Bernard Caron, David J. Bottjer, Shixue Hu, Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu. 2014. Diversity and species abundance patterns of the early Cambrian (Series 2, Stage 3) Chengjiang Biota from China. Paleobiology, 40(1): 50–69.

6.        Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu*, Paul Tafforeau, Junyuan Chen, Pengju Liu, Guoxiang Li. 2013. Early embryogenesis of potential bilaterian animals with polar lobe formation from the Ediacaran Weng'an biota, South China. Precambrian Research, 225: 44-57. (SCI)

7.        Fangchen Zhao, David J. Bottjer, Shixue Hu, Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu. 2013. Complexity and diversity of eyes in Early Cambrian ecosystems. Scientific Reports, 3: 2751.

8.        Zongjun Yin, Maoyan Zhu*. 2012. New observations of the ornamented Doushantuo embryo fossils from the Ediacaran Weng’an biota, South China. Bulletin of Geosciences, 87(1), 171–181. (SCI)

9.        Maoyan Zhu*, Zongjun Yin, Junmin Zhang, Xinglian Yang. 2012. Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation and the Weng'an Biota in the shallow water facies of the Yangtze Platform, Beidoushan, Weng'an, Guizhou. Journal of Guizhou University (Natural Science), 29 (Supplement, English edition): 66-76.

10.     Fangchen Zhao*, Shixue Hu, Jean-Bernard Caron, Maoyan Zhu, Zongjun Yin, Miao Lu. 2012. Spatial variation in the diversity and composition of the Lower Cambrian (Series 2, Stage 3) Chengjiang Biota, Southwest China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 346-347: 54-65.

11.     Junyuan Chen*, David J. Bottjer, Gang Li, Michael G. Hadfield, Feng Gao, Andrew R. Cameron, Chenyu Zhang, Dingchang Xian, Paul Tafforeau, Xin Liao, Zongjun Yin. 2009. Complex embryos displaying bilaterian characters from Precambrian Duoshantou phosphate deposits, Weng’an, Guizhou, China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA106: 19056–19060. (Nature Index, SCI)

12.     殷宗军*,黎刚,朱茂炎.两种微体化石三维无损成像技术的对比.微体古生物学报.2014,31(4): 440-452.

13.     殷宗军,朱茂炎*2011.瓮安生物群中内陷式动物原肠胚化石的同步辐射无损成像及其亲缘关系的重新解释,科技导报,29(26)18-24.(封面文章)

14.     殷宗军,朱茂炎*2010.外包型原肠胚化石在瓮安生物群中的发现,古生物学报,第49(3)325-335.

15.     殷宗军,朱茂炎*2010.埃迪卡拉纪瓮安生物群中动物胚胎化石研究进展,科技导报,628),103-111.(封面文章)

16.     殷宗军朱茂炎*,肖体乔. 2009. 同步辐射射线相衬微CT 在古生物学中的应用物理, 7(38):504-510.

17.     殷宗军朱茂炎*. 2008. 贵州埃迪卡拉纪瓮安生物群化石含量统计分析古生物学报,47(4):477-487.

18.     黎刚,陈均远,冼鼎昌,殷宗军,Paul Tafforeau.微体化石3D结构的同步辐射无损成像研究.2013,生命科学.25(8): 787-793.

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