Saber-Toothed Deer Alive in Afghanistan | The Institute for Creation Research

Saber-Toothed Deer Alive in Afghanistan

Based on journal entries, a Danish survey team probably sighted musk deer while working in the remote regions of northeast Afghanistan in 1948, but that was the last official sighting—until now. A new survey team led by members of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recorded the species still alive, but endangered.1 Seven similar species found throughout Asia eat vegetation, so why do they need tusks?

Musk deer do not grow antlers, but males do grow fangs. They live secluded lives, preferring remote and rocky environments far from man. If they could observe the animals more often, the researchers could undoubtedly learn more about how the deer live, including how they use their long tusks, but the small deer are experts at avoiding detection.

A 2011 survey of the same area was unable to verify the deer were still alive, despite the use of DNA forensic protocols and remote motion-triggered cameras. The recent WCS surveyors recorded their few sightings while the deer were alerted to their presence.

Nevertheless, enough is known about musk deer to note that the bucks use their characteristic tusks to tussle when competing for mates.

For all we know, they may also use their tusks in display communications as well.

But what would a paleontologist think of finding a fossil musk deer's fangs without the benefit of comparing it to modern species? If she labeled it a carnivore based on those tusks, she would be wrong. Musk deer have grinding molars suitable for grinding vegetation, but the tusks might not be used for feeding at all.2

In other words, not every animal bearing fangs uses them for harmful predation.3 From a creation perspective, the lifestyles of male musk deer illustrate some of the originally good purposes He may have had in mind when God created the DNA instructions to build tusks.

References

  1. Ostrowski, S. et al. Musk deer Moschus cupreus persist in the eastern forests of Afghanistan. Oryx. Published online October 22, 2014.
  2. Criswell, D. 2009. Predation Did Not Come from Evolution. Acts & Facts. 38 (3): 9.
  3. The same is true of fruit bats. See Thomas, B. Why God Created Large, Sharp Teeth. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org March 26, 2012, accessed November 4, 2014.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on November 14, 2014

The Latest
NEWS
Did Our Middle Ear Evolve from Fish Gills?
A recent SciTechDaily article begins by saying, “Embryonic and fossil evidence proves that the human middle ear evolved from the spiracle of fishes”1...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Can Scripture Be Trusted? | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 8
Both believers and skeptics can find themselves asking if Scripture can be taken at its word. Is it scientifically accurate? Can its history be trusted?...

NEWS
Cambrian Soft Tissue Defies Evolution
Paleontologists have discovered “early fossils [of] simple hollow tubes ranging from a few millimetres to many centimetres in length.”1...

NEWS
Fruit Fly Jitters
Researchers working with fruit flies–the ubiquitous lab animal–have discovered the flies are able to undergo an amazing ocular process called...

CREATION PODCAST
Can Radioisotope Dating Be Trusted? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Carbon dating is a common method used to determine the ages of fossils and other materials, but carbon14 deteriorates quite quickly. How can it still...

NEWS
Prepare for the Big Non-Event!
In 1950 the famed Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asked his coworkers at the lunch table the simple metaphysical question in regard to possible aliens...

NEWS
Move Toward the Enemy: Fighting for Truth in Science
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the...

NEWS
Evolving Mammals?
The evolution of mammals from non-mammals, like the evolution of all other animal groups, has been, and will always be, problematic. English paleontologist...

NEWS
Butterfly Variation
Butterflies have made science news again, this time in regard to a master gene called WntA: “a combined team of researchers from Cornell University...

CREATION PODCAST
How Old Is The Universe? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 35
Many scientists claim that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old by reverse-engineering the Big Bang with the assumption that this theory...