The tapir fossils in a mysterious cave of Pailiao Village, Huayuan County in Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture have been discovered recently. This is the first paleontologic tapir fossil dating from tens of thousands years to ten thousand years in Hunan Province.
Located at about a kilometer away to the south of the Pailiao Village, the cave with unearthed fossils is a natural cave as deep as 20 meters with complex terrain. Several young militiamen in the village intended to see whether there would be water, but discovered something unexpected. The skeletons in the cave have calcified and were quite solid. The teeth were as smooth and transparent as the agate.
It's informed that the tapir widely lived in the warm and moist environment dating from one million years to ten thousand years before. However, because of the changes of the environment, at present apart from the Malaysia tapir living in Southeast Asia, all the other kinds of the tapir have been extinct. Up to the present, Guizhou Provincial Museum is the only place in China that has collected a few tapir fossils. The tapir fossils unearthed this time are of great significance for studying the environmental changes, the biodiversity and the evolution of species in Wuling Mountian area of Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province.