Animal Features Did Not Evolve | The Institute for Creation Research

Animal Features Did Not Evolve

There’s no doubt that animals in God’s creation have iconic features. The question is, did these features evolve or were they created that way from the beginning?

Elise Poore of Live Science recently wrote an article titled “How 10 animals evolved their iconic features.”1 She begins by asking, “Why are whales so big?” and then provides examples for what she thinks are evolutionary evidences in the field of zoology. There is no mention of the ancestral origin of the various notable features she mentions, nor are empirical evidences listed for their evolution. Regardless, the article includes the following examples.

Elephant tusks. The tusks of elephants are a graphic feature of these lumbering animals, but there’s no evidence they evolved.2 Poore stated, “[Researchers] also suggested that the tusks evolved independently in different populations over time. When the tusks developed, soft tissue ligaments formed, anchoring the large teeth to the jaw”1 (emphasis added). But just saying that tusks “developed” does not explain their evolutionary origin or how they evolved.

Hammerhead shark head. Sharks have always been sharks.3 Everyone would agree the head of the hammerhead is indeed bizarre, but hammerheads have always been hammerheads with no fossil evidence of slow, gradual evolution from an ancestor to their present, unique state.4 An evolutionist from the University of Colorado Boulder stated, “Hammerheads are special fish, and there is nothing that remotely resembles them anywhere on the planet.”5 Poore said, “Scientists hypothesized that modern hammerheads’ unusually shaped heads came from larger individuals and only later showed up in smaller bodied hammerheads, like the bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo), as they evolved”1 (emphasis added). There is no fossil evidence of such evolution, just speculation.

Blue whales’ size. Poore stated, “Their size makes it hard to believe that mammoth sea mammals evolved from a dog-sized ancestor, Pakicetus.”1 Evolutionist Michael Benton said, “Looking at the great blue whale, 30 m [100 ft] long, or a fast-swimming dolphin, it is hard to imagine how they evolved from terrestrial mammal ancestors, and yet that is what happened.”6 Indeed, it is hard to imagine and believe such an incredible evolutionary transformation given the fossil record does not support it: “But how and when cetacean ancestors [such as Pakicetus] became fully aquatic remains a subject of intense debate.”7 There is no fossil progression documenting this farfetched transition from a tetrapod. The evidence shows that blue whales have always been blue whales.

Tiger stripes. After giving an overview of the unique nature of tiger stripes, Poore says, “In 1952, the British Mathematician Alan Turing theorized that a chemical reaction between two homogeneous substances were responsible for the famous tiger-stripe pattern, along with other patterns commonly found in nature. He dubbed these substances ‘morphogens.’”1 Describing the discovery of how the striped pattern forms via morphogens (which was experimentally validated in 2012) says nothing about how tiger stripes evolved on their own from an unknown ancestor that had no stripes.

Hummingbirds’ long bill. Poore stated, “Hummingbirds split from swifts—insect-eating birds that have shorter and wider beaks—in Europe 42 million years ago. They then appeared in South America around 22 million years ago.”1 This is entirely theoretical. Meanwhile, the fossil record shows hummingbirds have always remained just as they are down to their beaks. The journal Science described “tiny skeletons of stem-group hummingbirds from the early Oligocene of Germany that are of essentially modern appearance and exhibit morphological specializations toward nectarivory and hovering flight”8 (emphasis added). The Science paper referred to these as “the oldest fossils of modern-type hummingbirds, which had not previously been reported from the Old World.” Hummingbird bills did not evolve to better feed on different flower species; they were specially designed by the Lord Jesus from the beginning.

Genesis teaches God creating His creatures after their kind, complete with iconic features. The fossils verify that each of these features showed up fully formed and functional, with no transitional forms or ancestors. Fossils merely record the progressive burial of these creatures in the global Flood. We give glory to Jesus and not to the idols of random chance and time for these distinctive characteristics.


  1. Poore, E. How 10 animals evolved their iconic features. Live Science. Posted on January 6, 2024.
  2. Thomas, B. Elephant Secrets Under Middle East Sands. Creation Science Update. Posted on January 26, 2009.
  3. Sherwin, F. 2013. Shark Origins: An Evolutionary Explanation. Acts & Facts. 42 (12): 16.
  4. Thomas, B. Shark Study Hammers More Nails in Evolution’s Coffin. Creation Science Update. Posted on June 15, 2010, accessed January 18, 2024.
  5. New Hammerhead Study Shows Cascade of Evolution Affected Size, Head Shape. University of Colorado at Boulder press release. Posted on May 18, 2010. Reporting on research published in Lim, D. D. et al. 2010. Phylogeny of hammerhead sharks (Family Sphyrnidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 55 (2): 572–579.
  6. Benton, M. 2015. Vertebrate Paleontology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 372.
  7. Skin seep: New study suggests aquatic skin adaptations of whales and hippos evolved independently. Research News. Posted on January 13, 2024.
  8. Mayr, G. 2004. Old World Fossil Record of Modern-Type Hummingbirds. Science. 304 (5672): 861–864.

* Dr. Sherwin is science news writer at the Institute for Creation Research. He earned an M.A. in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Pensacola Christian College.

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