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ISSN : 1225-6692(Print)
ISSN : 2287-4518(Online)
Journal of the Korean earth science society Vol.39 No.1 pp.67-88
DOI : https://doi.org/10.5467/JKESS.2018.39.1.67

Comparison of the Paleontological Heritages of South Korea with Those of North Korea: Implications for Potential International Heritages

Jeong Yul Kim*, Won Mi Park
Department of Earth Science Education, Korea National University of Education, Cheongju 28173, Korea
Corresponding author: kimjy@knue.ac.kr+82-10-5498-1118+82-43-232-7176
20171129 20180130 20180225

Abstract

The important PH (paleontological heritages) with scientific, educational and esthetic values designated as natural monuments and protected by legislations of South and North Koreas are herein compared for the first time. On the basis of data (Jan. 2017) provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration of (South) Korea, a total of 457 natural monuments was designated. Of these, geological heritages are 80 in number, which includes 24 (30%) PH. Data (Dec. 2005) of North Korea show that a total of 474 natural monuments was designated. Among these, geological and geographical ones are 154 in number, which includes 22 (14%) PH. Differences between PH of South and North Koreas are regarded to be directly related with geological difference in distribution of the fossil-bearing strata between South and North Koreas. PH of Silurian corals, Devonian plants, Jurassic fishes, Cretaceous dinosaur tracks, birds (so called Korean Archaeopteryx) and pterosaurs, and Pleistocene paleoanthropological fossils appear to be scientifically significant. Together with these North Korean PH, scientific, esthetic, conservational, educational, and economical values of important PH including KCDC (Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast), Jigunsan Shale, and Geumgwangdong Shale of South Korea should be evaluated as potential future candidates for international heritages.


초록


    Introduction

    A fundamental topic in paleontology that has garnered little attention is an evaluation of the values that humans ascribe to fossils (Santucci et al., 2016). Some examples of human values associated with fossils include scientific, educational, recreational, spiritual, commercial, and even aesthetic values. Fossils are important elements of geoheritage. Although PH have been mentioned by many authors (e.g., Lipps, 2009; Schemm-Gregory and Henrigues, 2013; vila et al., 2016; Haag and Henriques, 2016), definition of PH has rarely been known. Henriques and Reis (2015) and Endere and Prado (2015) attempted to define paleontological heritage, but they did not provide its definition. Authors herein used that paleontological heritage is an important part of geoheritage, composed of sites and (or) collections of diverse fossils, which are non-renewable scientific resources showing evidence of history of life. This definition is slightly modified from Endere and Prado (2015).

    In 1884, Cambrian trilobite and brachiopoda fossils were for the first time reported from Korea by Gottsche (1884). Subsequently, Yabe (1903) firstly reported Mesozoic fossil plants from Korea. Diverse Cambro-Ordovician fossils have been intensively reported by Kobayashi during 1920’s-1930’s. After World War II in 1945, Korea was politically divided into northern area later becoming North Korea and southern area which became South Koera. It should be herein noted that the territory of the Korean Peninsula is legally called Republic of Korea (ROK) or simply Korea by South Korea and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or simply Choson (Korea) by North Korea. However, Korea used in this paper means not the Peninsula territory of whole Korea but South Korea, which is politically separated from North Korea. There was a Korean War (1950-1953), which destructed immense material including many national heritages and humans. The Geological Society of Korea was established in 1947 and Paleontological Society of Korea was started in 1984.

    In North Korea, ‘Fossils of Korea’ was published in 1987 (Kim et al., 1987) and Paleontological Fossils of Korea was published in 1997 (Hong et al., 1997). In South Korea, ‘Paleontology of Korea’ (Lee et al., 2004), ‘Megafossils of Korea’ (Yang et al., 2013), and Dinosaur Fossils of Korea’ (Huh et al., 2011) were published.

    Yang (1982) first reported dinosaur tracks from the Cretaceous Jindong Formation of Goseong area. Subsequently, Haenam Uhangri International Dinosaur Symposiums, Gyeongnam Goseong International Dinosaur Symposiums and Dinosaur World Expo were held. In 2012, 11 th Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems (MTE) was held in Korea, and Special Volume entitled tracking the Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast: 40 years of Vertebrate Ichnology in Korea was published in Ichnos journal (Volume 19, numbers 1-2).

    Furthermore, it is noteworthy that paleontological publications about diverse Korean fossils in international journals are rapidly increasing. Some examples are trilobites (Choi, 2007; Choi and Hwang, 2004; Choi and Chough, 2005; Choi et al., 2003, 2004, 2008), graptolites (Kim et al., 2006a; Cho and Kim, 2007; Cho et al., 2009), bivalves and gastropods (e.g., Yoon, 1975, 1976, 1992), cephalopoda (Yun, 1999a, b, 2002), invertebrate trace fossils (Kim et al., 2002, 2005a), Cretaceous vertebrate tracks (Kim and Lockley, 2012, 2016; Kim et al., 2006b, 2008, 2009, 2012a-e, 2013, 2016; Lockley et al., 1992, 2006, 2012a-d; over 100 references therein), dinosaurs (Huh et al., 2010; Lee et al., 2011), foraminifera (Kang et al, 2010), conodonts (Seo et al., 1994; Lee, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2014), pollens (Yi, 1998; Yi et al., 2003), ostracoda (Lee, 2014; references therein), plants (Jeong et al., 2009; Paik et al., 2012, Kim, 2015; references therein), and human footprints (Kim et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2010), which indicate scientific significance of diverse PH of Korea.

    The PH as a part of geological natural monuments of South Korea have been protected by the Cultural Heritages Protection Act (The Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, CHA, 1962). According to data (Jan. 2017) provided by CHA, 80 geological heritages were designated as natural monuments and among these, 24 PH were included. In North Korea, PH as a part of geological and geographical natural monuments were protected by the Scenic Sites and Natural Monuments Protection Act (1995). According to data (December 2005) provide by Na (2007), and Kim (2009), a total of 154 geological and geographical heritages of North Korea was designated as natural monuments and of these, 20 PH were included.

    In addition, there are 22 national parks, 8 national geoparks, and two global geoparks (Jeju and Cheongsong) in South Korea, whilst in North Korea, there are six national parks such as Paekdusan (Mt. Paekdu) and Geumgangsan (Mt. Geumgang). However, among these national parks and geoparks of South and North Koreas no paleontological heritages are included. KCDC was nominated as a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage with Outstanding Universal Value, though its nomination has not been succeeded yet. So far, Jeju Island is the only one nominated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage in Korea.

    The purpose of this study is to compare PH designated as natural monuments of South and North Koreas for the first time, and to discuss some problems in North Korean PH briefly and potentiality of some important PH of two Koreas for international heritages.

    Review of PH Data of South and North Koreas

    Natural monuments of South Korea have rarely been studied yet, except of Na (2007) and Kim (2009). Na (2007) first reported a comparative study on the natural monument management policies of South and North Koreas in his unpublished Master’s Thesis. He also listed 15 PH designated as natural monuments (Na, 2007). However, Na, an officer who works at the Natural Monument Center, listed the Raindrop Impressions from the Haman Formation of Uiryeong (Natural Monument 196) in the category of the PH instead of that of the General Geology. He also listed the Rhodolith Nodule Beach in Udo, Jeju (Natural Monument 438) not in the PH but in the General Geology category. Authors regarded that The Rhodolith Nodule Beach should be included in the PH instead of the General Geology. After his publication based on the data of 2005, nine PH were additionally designated as natural monuments (474, 477, 487, 508, 512, 534, 535, and 548).

    Kim (2009) reported a paper about present status and comparative study on the natural monuments of South and North Koreas. Kim (2009) simply classified the geological ages of fossils as Precambrian (Proterozoic), Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras. Like Na (2007), he as a paleontologist also mistakenly and surprisingly listed the Uiryeong Raindrop Impressions in the category of PH. Kim (2009) listed the Mud Cracks and Stromatolites in Mungokri, Yeongwol (Natrual Monument 413) not in the category of PH but in the General Geology category. Like Na (2007), Kim (2009) also did not list the Rhodolith Nodule Beach of Jeju (Natural Monument 438) in the category of PH. After 2008, the time of last data provided by Kim (2009), five PH were newly designated as natural monuments; they are natural monuments with numbers 508, 512, 534, 535, and 548.

    Information about the PH of North Korea is not exactly known, because North Korea has been politically and scientifically isolated from other countries. The only information used in this study is obtained from Ri and Ri (1994), who wrote a handbook of natural monuments of North Korea. They listed 18 PH designated as natural monuments of North Korea with brief explanation of them. However, they strangely did not list four PH designated as natural monuments; they are Coral Fossils of Koksan (Natural Monument 181), Animal Fossils of Ryonggungri (Natural Monument 191), Founder Frog Fossil (Natural Monument 470), and Higher Animal Fossils of Sambong (Natural Monument 500).

    Na (2007) also provided a table showing the list of PH of North Korea as well as South Korea. Na (2007) interestingly listed the Raindrop Impressions of Komsanri (Natural Monument 61) in the category of PH, which is reminiscent of the case of Raindrop Impression of Uiryeong in South Korea as previously mentioned. Na (2007) did not list the Basal Bed of the Songnimsan Series (Natural Monument 166) in the category of PH. Interestingly, the Coral Fossils of Goksan (Natural Monument 181) was also not shown in the tables of PH of North Korea (Na, 2007; Kim, 2009).

    It should be herein noteworthy that the Basal Bed of the Songnimsan Series (Natural Monument of North Korea 166) is important PH, because it is very difficult to understand true scientific value only based on the name of this monument. The basal conglomerate bed of the Jurassic Songnimsan Series unconformably overlying the Ordovician Singok Formation at Dangsandong of Songnim City yielded diverse Cambrian to Devonian fossils including coral, ostracoda, trilobite, and brachiopoda (Ri and Ri, 1994). However, authors of this study arbitrarily counted the geological age of this basal bed as Ordovician, which is the age of the underlying Singok Formation, for convenient comparison of geological age of PH of South and North Koreas.

    The location of PH of Natural Monuments (No. 191) is Ryonggungri, Phyongsan County, North Hwanghae Province, which is the same locality of the Natural Monument (No. 460). The name of Natural Monument 191 is the Animal Fossils of Ryonggungri, and that of 460 is the Dinosaur Footprint Fossils of Ryonggungri. The name ‘Animal Fossils’, which is more or less confused, appears to be molluscan fossils (Na, 2007, Fig. 4-42). Moreover, the location name of Hwasong County, Tertiary Fossil Site (Natural Monument 323), was changed to Myonggang County, North Hamhyung Province.

    The Founder Frog Fossil (Natural Monument 470 of North Korea) is not exactly known, because description was not provided (Ri and Ri, 1994). Although only one photograph was known, it is nearly impossible to get any information from the unclear photograph obtained through internet. Furthermore, Kim (2009) mistakenly mentioned that the fossil site is located at Teasong District of Pyongyang and geological age of fossil is Paleozoic. However, this fossil site is Baektodong Sinuiju City, North Pyonan Province and the fossil was found from the Cretaceous Sinuiju Series (Pak and Kim, 1996).

    The geological age of the Higher Animal Fossils of Sambong (Natural Monument 500 of North Korea) is necessary to be considered. It is known that geologic age is 225-70 Ma and formation name is not shown (http://ko.wikipedia.org natural monuments of DPR Korea). Although geological map showing distribution of Tertiary sediments in downstream of River Tuman (Jo and Pak, 1996, Fig. 2.53) and geological map of Korea (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, 2001, 1:1,000,000) show only Oligocene to Miocene strata without showing Mesozoic sedimentary rocks around the Onsong area, Pak and Kim (1996, table 2.7, Fig. 2.43) and the geological map of Korea (1996, Institute of Geology, State Academy of Sciences, DPR Korea, 1:1,000,000) show the Cretaceous Hanbongsan Series distributed around Onsong. Therefore, the geological age of the Onsong fossils is regarded as Cretaceous. In addition, the name ‘Higher Animal Fossil’, which may give some confusion in the paleontological field, is regarded to be changed in clearer name, such as fish fossils.

    Tables 1 and 2 shows the list of PH designated as natural monuments of South and North Koreas. In tables 1 and 2, important paleoanthropological fossils recorded from South and North Koreas are also included. The ‘Ryonggok Man’ discovered from the Relic site of Komunmoru, Sangwon was designated as National Treasure (No. 27) of North Korea. The other human fossils including the ‘Hwadae Man’, ‘Ryokpo Man’, ‘Soongnisan (Dokchon) Man’, and ‘Mandal Man’ of North Korea and ‘Heungsu Cave Man’ of South Korea are paleoanthropologically important PH for understanding human evolution in East Asia (Norton, 2000; Bae, 2010). They have been designated as relic sites and protected as cultural heritages by Cultural Heritage Protection Acts of South and North Koreas.

    As shown in Tables 1, 24 (30%) PH among the 80 geological heritages have been designated as natural monuments of South Korea. Table 2 shows that 22 (14%) PH of 154 geological and geographical heritages were designated as natural monument of North Korea. In South Korea, natural monuments are classified into four categories including Plants, Animals, Geology and Minerals, and Natural Protected Areas. Among the 457 natural monuments, geological (and mineralogical) monuments are 80 (~17.6%) in number. Geological monuments have been informally and personally divided into four subcategories including Rocks, General Geology, Fossils, and Caves (Na, 2007; Kim, 2009). The General Geology subcategory includes diverse geological features, such as columnar joints, sedimentary structures, and volcanic craters, geographical features, such as canyon, sand dunes, marine terrace, and karst geomorphology.

    By contrast, in North Korea, natural monuments are classified into four categories including Plants, Animals, Geography, and Geology. Of 474 natural monuments, geological and geographical monuments are 154 (~32.5%) in number. In the Geography category, geomorphology, water fall, lake, natural cave, and pond (damso in Korean) are included. The geology category includes rocks, mineral water, hotspring, fossil, and strata.

    Figure 1 shows proportion of geological monuments of South Korea (based on data of January, 2017) and that of geological and geographical monuments of North Korea (based on data of December, 2005) modified from Na (2007) and Kim (2009). Although there is difference in time of data, geological and geographical heritages designated as natural monuments of North Korea are much more diverse and much more abundant (about two times) than geological heritages designated as natural monuments of South Korea (Fig. 1)

    Especially, fossil heritages represent 30% (24/80) of total geological heritages designated as natural monuments of South Korea. Contrastively, fossil heritages occupy only 14% (22/154) of geological and geographical heritages of North Korea, though number of fossil monuments of North Korea is nearly similar to that of South Korea (Fig. 1). In comparison with fossil geotheme (~13%) of the geological World Heritage sites (Dingwell et al., 2005), PH of the geological monuments of South Korea hold very much higher proportion (30%) than that of geological World Heritages, but those of geological and geographical monuments of North Korea occupy similar in ratio (~14%) to fossil theme of the geological World Heritage Sites.

    Geographic Distribution of PH of South and North Koreas

    Geographic distribution of PH designated as natural monuments of South and North Koreas on the basis of Tables 1 and 2 is shown on the geological map of Korea (Korea Institution of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, 2001) (Fig. 2). As shown in Fig. 2, distribution of PH is firstly and closely related with geological distribution of sedimentary or sedimentaryoriginated rocks. Secondly, geographic distribution of PH is mainly related with distribution of sedimentary rocks which mostly yield well-preserved macrofossils. Thirdly, distribution of PH is closely related with the localities where fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks are well exposed at easily accessible outcrops. As clearly shown in Fig. 2, nearly all PH of South and North Koreas are geographically located at seaside, riverside, and roadside environments, where macrofossil-bearing sedimentary rocks are well exposed. Lastly, geographic distribution of PH is related with fossil sites with heritage values including scientific educational, esthetic, and (or) geotourism values.

    In South Korea, most of PH sites are located along the southern coast areas, where the dinosaur, bird, and pterosaur track-bearing sedimentary rocks are widely distributed in the Cretaceous sedimentary basins including the Gyeongsang and Haenam basins (Fig. 2). The two other PH sites are located at the western coastal areas, where small Cretaceous sedimentary basins are distributed. Two Ordovician PH and three Cretaceous PH sites are located at inland areas along the roadsides. Four Plio-Pleistocene to Holocene PH are located at the coastal areas of Jeju Island (Fig. 2).

    In North Korea, the Miocene to Pleistocene PH are located at the northeastern coastal areas of Hwasong, Kilju , and Hwade counties, northeast of the Korean Peninsula (Fig. 2). The Cretaceous PH sites are located along the Duman and Abrok riversides at Sinuiju and Onsong areas, northwest and northernmost of the Korean Peninsula. The other Cretaceous PH sites are located near the Pyongyang-Kaesong Express Way at Phyongsan County. The Jurassic PH sites are mostly located around the Taedong River near Pyongyang, where the Jurassic Taedong System is distributed (Fig. 2). The Silurian PH site is located near the Pyongyang-Wonsan Express Way at Koksan and the Devonian PH site of Kangryong is located at the southwestern coast of North Korea. The Precambrian (Late Proterozoic) fossil-bearing PH sites are located on Socheongdo of South Korea and Junghwa and Unpha areas of southwest of North Korea (Fig. 2).

    On the basis of geographical distribution of natural monuments (Na, 2007) and geological monuments (Kim, 2009) of South and North Korea, it has been regarded that natural monuments are relatively rare in the urbanized and industrialized areas because of destruction and disappearance due to urbanization and industrialization (Na, 2007; Kim, 2009). Authors partly agree with their interpretation (Na, 2007; Kim, 2009) of distribution of natural heritages and geological heritages especially in the cases of geographical distribution of animals, plants, geological and geographical monuments with scenic beauty as well as scientific significance. However, we regarded that geographical distribution of PH designated as natural monuments is essentially related with geological distribution of significant macrofossil-bearing sedimentary rocks well-exposed at outcrops, though distribution of natural monuments and geological monuments including paleontological monuments is partly and secondarily related with urbanization and industrialization as interpreted by previous authors (Na, 2007; Kim, 2009).

    Stratigraphic Distribution of PH of South and North Koreas

    As a geological age indicator, fossils have been used as very important evidence for understanding evolution of life, geological time scale, paleogeography, paleoclimatology, and biostratigraphic correlation. Stratigraphic distribution of PH designated as national heritages of South and North Koreas compiled for the first time is shown in Table 3. Table 3 also includes important PH with scientific values, which are not designed as natural monuments yet, and well-known paleoanthropological fossils found from relic sites.

    As shown in Table 3, PH of South and North Koreas are diverse from cyanobacteria through dinosaurs to mammoth and human, and they have been known from Precambrian (Proterozoic) to Holocene in geological time.

    Paleontologically important fossils from both of South and North Koreas are: (1) Precambrian stromatolites, (2) Cambro-Ordovician trilobites and brochiopoda, (3) Permo-Carboniferous plants and fusulinas, (4) Cretaceous dinosaur tracks, (5) Miocene mollusca and plants, and (6) Pleistocene human fossils. However, in South Korea, PH of Devonian, Triassic, and Paleogene (Paleocene to Oligocene) in geological age have not recorded yet, if geological age of the Amisan Formation is regarded as Jurassic (Egawa and Lee, 2011; Nam, 2015). Contrastively, in North Korea, Triassic, Paleocene and Pliocene fossils were not reported yet (Paek et al., 1996). Consequently, Triassic and Paleocene fossils are not known in the whole Korean Peninsula yet. However, according to Kobayashi (1975) and Kimura and Kim (1984), Amisan Formation is regarded as Upper Triassic and extraordinary palaeontinid from the Upper Triassic of the Amisan Formation is described in 2017 (Nam et al., 2017). In addition, Mesozoic fossils of South and North Koreas are exclusively non-marine. Thus Mesozoic marine fossils, such as Ammonite, have not been recorded in the Korean Peninsula yet.

    In comparison with North Korean PH, as shown in Table 3, South Korean PH are characterized by; (1) abundant, well-preserved, and diverse tracks of dinosaurs, bird, and pterosaur from the Cretaceous Gyeongsang Supergroup, and (2) mollusca, ostracoda, and foraminifera from the Plio-Pleistocene Seogwipo Formation. Reversely, in comparison with South Korean PH, North Korean PH characteristically includes; (1) Silurian corals, brachiopodas, and crinoids from the Koksan Series, (2) Devonian gastropodas, brachiopodas, crinoids, and plants including psilophyte and charophyta from the Rimjin System of Kangryoung, (3) Eocene plants from the Sinri Series, (4) Oligocene plants from Ryongdong and Pongsan Series, (5) Pleistocene mammoth, rhinoceros, and other mammals, and (6) Pleistocene (Archaeolithic) diverse paleoanthropological fossils including Ryonggok, Hwadae, Ryokpo, Soongnisan (Dokchon), and Mandal humans from Pyongyang and Hwadae areas.

    Comparison of geological ages of PH designated as natural monuments of South and North Koreas is shown in Fig. 3. As shown in Fig. 3, PH of South Korea are composed of Proterzoic to Holocene fossils. Among 24 PH, Cretaceous fossils are predominant (18, 75%). The remaining is composed of Plio- Pleistocene (2, 8.3%), Ordovician (2, 8.3%), Proterozoic (1, 4.2%), and Holocene (1, 4.2%) (Fig. 3). Quite contrastively, North Korean PH are much more diverse in geological age, though total number of PH designated as natural monuments of North Korea (22) is nearly similar to that of South Korea (24) (Fig. 3). In North Korean PH, Cretaceous fossils are also relatively abundant (5, 22.7%), and Miocene (4, 18.2%), Pleistocene (3, 13.6%), and Jurassic (3, 13.6%) fossils are subordinated in number. The others are Devonian (2, 9.1%), Proterozoic (2, 9.1%), Silurian (1, 4.5%), Ordovician (1, 4.5%) and Cambrian (1, 4.5%) fossil heritages (Fig. 3).

    Discussion

    Due to over 70-years-long political separation, diplomatic isolation, and disconnection of internet, it is nearly impossible to get detailed scientific information including geology and paleontology of North Korea. Although only some books published in North Korea can be seen at the Information Center on North Korea of the National Library of Korea located at Seoul, scientific articles about fossils of North Korea are not available. Furthermore, North Korean geological and paleontological papers are rarely found in international journals. Therefore, scientific value of PH of North Korea is not well known for exact comparison with South Korean PH.

    Moreover, North Korean names of some fossils are different from South Korean names. If they are shown as Korean without English names, communication may not be possible. For example, Kyeopcheungseog (stromatolite), Wonsinakji (Coreanoceras and Armenoceras), Golbaengi (gastropoda), Dolpul (Tingia), Dolipul (Annularia), Bineulnamu (Lepidodendron), Zejin Eunhaengnamu (Baiera), Kongpatgosari (Neuropteris) are North Korean names of some fossils, which are quite different from South Korean names of same fossils. For scientific communication, unification of fossil names as well as many other geological terms (Kim and Choi, 2003) in Korean is necessary.

    It is noteworthy that purpose of natural monument designation of North Korea is to arm labors and young people strongly with superiority of socialism (Ri and Ri, 1994, translation by authors). In addition, management agency of natural monuments of North Korea should strongly arm labors and young people with grand scheme of Kim Il Sung’s nature protection ideology, reinforce education of socialistic nationalism, and firmly prepare them as devoted Juche type revolutionists (Na, 2007, translation by authors). Henderson (2007) reported that heritage served as economic, social, and political capital, and tourism employed as a hegemonic tool and propaganda vehicle in East Asian communist countries including North Korea.

    A few examples of the paleontological fossils represent how North Korean PH have been used as idolization and political tool for propagandizing the Juche ideology. In the case of the Founder Frog Fossil (Natural Monument No. 470 of North Korea), Pak and Kim (1996, p. 168) reported that the Great Leader Kim Il Sung ordered to call the bird fossils and frog fossil discovered in the third bed of the Sinuiju Series, the founder birds of Korea (Prooris coreae Lim) and the founder frog of Korea (Duplicoelus coreanus Lim), respectively in 1993. The second example is the Dinosaur Footprints of Ryonggungri (Natural Monument No. 470 of North Korea). Pak and Kim (1996, p. 184) reported that the Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il has taken personally measures to register and preserve these footprints as the natural memorial.

    In South Korea, as mentioned in the previous section, KCDC is internationally important PH, which may have globally outstanding value for the UNESCO World Heritage. So far, 16 paleontological sites of KCDC have been designated as natural monuments of Korea (Table 1). During the last four decades or more, over 200 scientific papers about KCDC fossils have been published in international and Korean journals (e.g., Kim et al., 2012a-e; Lockley et al., 2012a, b). From KCDC and other fossil sites in the Cretaceous basins, numerous holotype fossils of vertebrates have been described at type localities (Fig. 4). They include dinosaur skeletons (Koreanosaurs, Huh et al., 2010, Koreaceratops, Lee et al., 2011), dinosaur eggs (Macroelongatoolithus goseongensis, Kim et al., 2011), dinosaur tracks (Dromaeosauripus hamanesis, Kim et al., 2008, D. jinjuensis, Kim et al., 2012c, Ornithopodichnus masanensis, Kim et al., 2009, Caririchnium kyoungsookimi, Lim et al., 2012, C. yeongdongensis, Kim et al., 2016, Brontopodus pentadactylus, Kim et al., 2012d), pterosaur tracks (Haenamichnus uhangriensis, Hwang et al., 2002, Pteraichnus koreanensis, Lee et al., 2008, H. gainensis, Kim et al., 2012b), bird tracks (Koreanaorins, Kim, 1969, Jindongornipes, Lockley et al., 1992, Uhangrichnus, Yang et al., 1995, Hwagsanipes, Yang et al., 1995, Goseongornipes, Lockley et al., 2006, Ignotornis yangi, Kim et al., 2006b, I. gajinensis, Kim et al., 2012a, Gyeongsangornipes, Kim et al., 2013), and lizard skeletons (Asprosaurus bibongriensis, Park et al., 2015). These papers sufficiently represent the KCDC as a candidate for World Heritage with globally outstanding value (Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, 2008), and a Lagersttten. Kim et al. (2012f) called the Korean Peninsula a paradise of Mesozoic vertebrates.

    The second example of fossil sites with international scientific values is the Ordovician Jigunsan Shale distributed around Taebaek area, which was designated as Natural Monument No. 416. Diversely Ordovician trilobites, graptolites, cephalopods, and brachiopoda have been reported during the last nearly 100 years (e.g., Lee and Choi, 1992; Choi, 2007; references therein; Fig. 5-3-4). Several hundred thousand specimens of trilobites belonging to over 100 hundred species, several thousand specimens of graptolites (e.g., Kim et al., 2005b), several tens of thousands specimens of brachiopoda, and several hundred specimens of cephalopoda (e.g., Yun, 1999b) have been occurred from the Jigunsan Shale, which is the richest Paleozoic fossil-bearing formation in South Korea. Several tens of paleontological papers about fossils from the Jigunsan Shale reported (e.g., Choi, 2007) represent the scientific significance of the Jigunsan fossils and provided potentiality for international PH or Lagerstätten like the Moatiantian Shale of China and Burgess Shale of Canada (Zhao et al., 2012).

    The third example of Korean fossil heritage with a potential international value is the diverse and rich fossil plants from the Miocene Geumgwangdong Shale distributed at Pohang, southeast of Korea (Fig. 5-6). Fossil plants from the Guemgwangdong Shale have been studied during the last over 40 years or more (e.g., Huzioka, 1972; Jeong et al., 2009; Paik et al., 2012; Kim, 2015). According to Paik et al. (2012), fossil flora described from the Geumgwangdong Shale consists of 64 taxa belonging to 27 families and 43 genera. The Guemgwangdong Shale represents the richest Miocene fossil plants in Korea and over several hundred thousand fossil specimens have been occurred. The Guemgwangdong Shale possibly represents the internationally significant PH for understanding paleoclimate and paleogeolography during the Miocene, though it is not designated as natural monument yet.

    In addition, Proterozoic stromatolites of Socheong Island (Natural Monument No. 508; Kim and Kim, 1999; Kim and Han, 2010), the oldest (ca. 1.0 Ga) fossils of South Korea (Fig. 5-1), diverse and well- preserved trilobites from the upper Cambrian Machari Formation (Hong et al., 2003; Choi et al., 2008; references therein, Fig. 5-2), and over five hundred hominid footprints from the Late Pleistocene of Jeju Island (Natural Monument No. 464, Kim et al., 2009, Kim et al., 2010, Fig. 5-5), which show traces of ancient Koreans, are also very important PH with international values. As shown in Table 3, the Hoedongri Formation, which uniquely yielded Silurian conodonts (Lee, 1980, 1982), the Geumcheon Formation, which contains Carboniferous fusulina, conodont, and coral fossils (Kim et al., 1999), and the Amisan Formation of Boryeong area, which uniquely produced Triassic (?) to Jurassic mollusc, plant and insect fossils in Korea (e.g. Kim, 1990; Kim et al., 2002, 2015; Nam and Kim, 2014; Kim and Lee, 2015), are regarded to be important for potential national natural heritages of Korea. Geologic age of the Amisan Formation was reported as Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (Egawa and Lee, 2011) and Jurassic (Nam, 2015). However, according to Kobayashi (1975), Kimura and Kim (1984), and Nam et al. (2017), Amisan Formation is regarded as Upper Triassic.

    Furthermore, the most abundant and diverse molluscan fossils have been occurred from the Miocene Chunbuk Conglomerate distributed at Gyeongju area (Yoon, 1975; Yoon and Rhee, 1982; Lee and Yoon, 2004). Yoon (1975) described eight species of molluscan fossils and Vicaryella - Anadara assemblage. Recently, Shim (2017) described fifteen ichnospecies of boring fossils preserved on oyster fossils, which represent the most diverse boring ichnotaxa recorded in Asia.

    Diverse Precambrian stromatolites of Unpha, Junghwa, Yonsan, Tanchon, and Unryul areas, diverse Ordovician to Silurian coral fossils of Koksan, diverse Devonian psilophytes fossils of Kangryoung, diverse Cretaceous fish fossils including Onsongia and Dumania of Onsong, Cretaceous dinosaur tracks of Ryonggungri, and Pleistocene mammal fossils including mammoth and rhinocero fossils appear to be scientifically important PH of North Korea (Fig. 6-1- 3, 6-5). Furthermore, founder bird (Korean Archaeopteryx) and Founder Frog Fossil as well as pterosaur fossils from the Cretaceous Sinuiju Series are regarded as important PH of North Korea (Pak and Kim, 1996; Gao et al., 2009; Fig. 6-4). In addition, several paleoanthropological fossils, such as Ronggok, Hwadae, Ryokpo, Soongnisan (Dokchon), and Mandal human fossils discovered from North Korea are thought to be very important PH which may provide evidence for understanding evolutionary history of our ancestors in the East Asia (Fig. 6-6), though there are no sites with Pleistocene modern humans with direct 14 C dates in Korea (Keates, 2010).

    If PH of South and North Koreas are scientifically unified, and systematic researches on the scientific, conservational, educational, and paleontological tourism values are qualitatively, and quantitatively carried out, PH of Korean Peninsula composed of more complete record with much more diverse fossils with potential values of international PH will be very significant for understanding history of life and paleoenvironment during the last billion years in East Asia. Scientific cooperative research on the PH of Korean Peninsula scientifically crossing over the political barriers between South and North Koreas hopefully contribute to international understanding history of life in East Asia.

    Acknowledgments

    Authors sincerely thank anonymous reviewers for useful comments, which help improvement of the original draft. Authors thank Dr. Na, M. H. of the Natural Monument Center, National Institute of Cultural Heritage, for sending useful references. Authors also thank the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources for permitting to use the Geological Map of Korea in this paper. Authors thank officials of the Information Center of North Korea, the National Library of Korea, for providing useful references about North Korean paleontology. We also thank Hong, N. R. of the Graduate School, Korea National University of Education, for assistance in the laboratory.

    Figure

    JKESS-39-67_F1.gif

    Diagram showing proportion of geological monuments of South Korea (data of January, 2017, modified after the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea) and that of geological and geographical monuments of North Korea (data of December, 2005, modified from Na (2007) and Kim (2009)). See tables 1 and 2.

    JKESS-39-67_F2.gif

    Geological map showing distribution of paleontological heritages (circles) designated as natural monuments of South Korea (blue) and North Korea (red). Numbers correspond to those of natural monuments of South and North Koreas shown in tables 1 and 2.

    JKESS-39-67_F3.gif

    Comparison of geological ages of paleontological heritages designated as natural monuments of South and North Koreas. Data of South Korea (January, 2017) are modified after the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and those of North Korea (December, 2005) are modified from Na (2007) and Kim (2009). Combrian to Devonian fossils from the Basal Bed of the Jurassic Songnimsan Series (Natural Monument No. 166 of North Korea) (Ri and Ri, 1994) are herein arbitrarily counted as Ordovician (notes in tables 2 and 3). See tables 1-3. Gelolgical age of the Amisan Formation is herein regarded as Jurassic (Nam, 2015).

    JKESS-39-67_F4.gif

    Examples of fossils from the Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast (KCDC). 1: dinosaur eggs from the Cretaceous Tando Formation of Hwaseong area (Huh et al., 2011), 2: ornithopod dinosaur, Koreanosaurus boseongensis from the Cretaceous Conglomerate of Boseong area (Huh et al., 2010), 3: web-footed bird tracks, Uhangrichnus chuni from the Cretaceous Uhangri Formation of Haenam area (Yang et al., 1995), 4: ornithopod dinosaur trackway from the Cretaceous Jindong Formation of Goseong area, 5: the longest trackway of ornithopod dinosaur from the Cretaceous strata of Yeosu area (Lockley et al., 2012c), 6: pterosaur trackway, Haenamichnus gainensis, from the Cretaceous Haman Formation of Namhae area (Kim et al., 2012b).

    JKESS-39-67_F5.gif

    Examples of important fossils of South Korea. 1: stromatolites from the Late Proterozoic Sangwon System of Socheong Island (Kim and Han, 2010), 2: trilobites, Agnostotes orientalis from the Upper Cambrian Machari Formation of Yeongwol (Choi et al., 2004), 3: trilobites, Dolerobasilicus yokusensis from the Ordovician Jigunsan Shale of Taebaek area (Lee and Choi, 1992), 4: cephalopoda, Holmiceras coreanicum from the Ordovician Jigunsan Shale of Yeongwol and Taebaeg areas (Yun, 1999b), 5: hominid trackways from the Pleistocene strata of Jeju Island (Kim et al., 2009), 6: plants from the Miocene Geumgwangdong Shale of Pohang area (Paik et al., 2012).

    JKESS-39-67_F6.gif

    Examples of important fossils of North Korea. 1: stromatolite from the Proterozoic Chongsokduri Formation of Tanchon area (Paek et al., 1996), 2: tatracorals from the Silurian Koksan Series of Koksan (Hong et al., 1997), 3: Pseudouralia from the Devonian strata of Kumchon area (Hong et al., 1997), 4: the so-called Korean Archaeopteryx (Proornis coreae) from the Cretaceous Sinuiju Series of Sinuiju area (Pak and Kim, 1996), 5: Rhinoceros from the Pleistocene of Cholwon area (Hong et al., 1997), 6: Ryonggok archaic Homo cf. sapiens cranidium no. 7 from the relic site of Komunmoru, Sangwon area (Norton, 2000).

    Table

    Paleontological heritages designated as natural monuments of South Korea (data of January, 2017, modified after the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea)

    Note: *site for inscription as a serial UNESCO World Heritage in 2008 (Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea),
    **category of general geology of natural monument (Kim, 2009),
    ***Archaeolithic relic site.

    Paleontological heritages designated as natural monuments of North Korea (data of December, 2005)

    Note: Data are mainly referred from: Ri and Ri (1994), Paek et al. (1996), Kim et al. (1987), Na (2007), Kim (2009), http:// ko.widipedia.org (natural monuments of DPR Korea, national treasures of DPR Korea), and http://nm.nktech.net/cont/natural (natural monuments of South and North Koreas).
    *archaeological relic sites,
    **Geological age and formation name were referred from Pak and Kim (1996, table 2.6 and fig. 2.43).
    ***National Treasure (No. 27) of North Korea, National Monument No. 470 was mistakenly shown as Paleozoic of Pyongyang (Na, 2007; Kim, 2009). Natural monument 181 was not listed by Na (2007) and Kim (2009). Hwasong County of natural monuments 323 and 427 was changed to Myonggan County.
    ****Natural Monument (166) is the Basal Bed of the Jurassic Songnimsan Series, but fossils from the basal conglomerate bed of the Jurassic Songnimsan Series are Cambrian to Devonian coral, ostracoda, trilobite and brachiopoda (Ri and Ri, 1994).

    Stratigraphic distribution of paleontological heritages designated as natural monuments of South and North Koreas. Data are based on those of tables 1 and 2. Numbers in parenthesis correspond to those of natural monuments in tables 1 and 2.

    Note: *category of general geology of natural monument (Kim, 2009),
    **Heungsu Cave Man (Archaeolithic age),
    ***Ryonggok Man, Hwadae Man, Ryokpo Man, Soongnisan (Dokchon) Man, and Mandal Man (Archaeolithic age), paleontological heritages for potential natural monuments (), and international heritages or Lagersttten() of South Korea (this study).
    ****Fossils from the basal conglomerate bed of the Jurassic Songnimsan Series are Cambrian to Devonian in geological age, but they are herein arbitrarily regarded as Ordovician, which is the geologic age of the Singok Series unconformably underlain by the Songnimsan Series at Songnim City (Ri and Ri, 1994). Fossils and formation names within parenthesis are not designated as natural monument yet, but they are regarded as important paleontological heritages with scientific values.

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