Archaeopteryx Fossil Shows 'Striking' Tissue Preservation | The Institute for Creation Research

Archaeopteryx Fossil Shows 'Striking' Tissue Preservation

The extinct Archaeopteryx is a famous icon of supposed evolutionary transition from reptiles to birds. Several different fossils have recorded the anatomy of this creature, which is fully bird and has been found in strata above the remains of other birds.1 One Archaeopteryx fossil from Solnhofen, Germany, was the subject of a recent analysis by researchers looking for possible preserved tissue.

They were not disappointed. Using state-of-the-art X-ray fluorescence scanning technology, the team found what they repeatedly reported as "striking" preservation of some of the original bird's tissues that had been encased in limestone.

The scans produced distribution maps of certain elements. When the researchers mapped those particular elements that are common to bone or feather tissue--like phosphorus, sulfur, and zinc--they found them in abundance arranged exactly where the bones and larger flight feather structures, like the rachis and barbs, were positioned in the fossil. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they concluded that the phosphorus layout "strongly implies that the rachises are at least in part the chemical remains of the original organism."2

Similarly, they concluded on the basis of the zinc pattern "that the high zinc levels in the Archaeopteryx bone have been inherited from the original organism." This fossil still has original bone and original keratin from feathers, making this their "most striking result."2

The researchers also noted the difference in phosphorus levels from the bird's body and the surrounding limestone, noting that limestone is phosphorus-poor. Most of the fossil's phosphorus had diffused into the rock, but plenty still remained to clearly demarcate the decayed bones.

But since limestone is porous and since the fossil is supposed to be 150 million years old, the phosphorus ought to have disappeared long ago, leaving just as much where the bones used to be as there is in the surrounding rock. After all this "time," given the "bedding planes and…fractures" that could help carry the minerals away, there should not be the extra phosphorus or other elements left behind.2

Instead, there are actual remnants of original bones and feathers still present. Perhaps this is why these results were so "spectacular" to the study's authors. Evolution's millions-of-years timeframe cannot account for organic fossil remains like those found in dinosaur and now bird soft tissues without invoking seemingly miraculous stories of special, unknown preservative "processes."3 These findings and other original tissue remnants found within fossils make much more sense if only thousands of years have passed since their deposition.4

References

  1. Gish, D. 1989. As a Transitional Form Archaeopteryx Won't Fly. Acts & Facts. 18 (9).
  2. Bergmann, U. et al. 2010. Archaeopteryx feathers and bone chemistry fully revealed via synchrotron imaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (20): 9060-9065.
  3. Thomas, B. Hadrosaur Soft Tissues Another Blow to Long Ages Myth. ICR News. Posted on icr.org, May 12, 2009, accessed May 18, 2010.
  4. Other recent soft tissue finds, most of which are described by their evolutionary authors as showing "remarkable preservation," are referenced on ICR's Evidence for Creation page "Fresh Tissues Show That Fossils Are Recent."

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

Article posted on May 19, 2010.

The Latest
CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Forged in Faith: The Hard Work of Making Disciples | Creation.Live...
Jesus commanded that we make disciples, but what does that mean in this modern world? Has the church gone soft?   Hosts Trey and...

NEWS
Algal Microfossils Show No Evolution
Creation scientists maintain that if something is living, then it’s automatically complex. This applies to organisms ranging from a single bacterium...

CREATION PODCAST
Rapid Erosion Devastates Deep Time! | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Erosion takes place slowly, over millions of years, right? That's what mainstream science tells us anyway. Or, does erosion happen far more...

NEWS
Flood Solves Land and Marine Mixing Near the Andes
A recent article published by Hakai Magazine claims to reveal secrets of an ancient inland sea that existed east of the Andes Mountains,1...

NEWS
T. rex Out of Nowhere
As one of the largest predators ever at 45 feet long, it’s no wonder school children are enthralled with Tyrannosaurus rex. But where did the...

NEWS
February 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:11 NKJV) ICR February 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Evolutionist and ICR Research Both Attempting to Explain Fossil...
Recent evolutionary research is attempting to provide an explanation for why some animals became smaller over time. Or equivalently, it is attempting...

NEWS
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...

CREATION PODCAST
Taking a Closer Look at Uniquely Human Eyes | The Creation Podcast:...
While we might take them for granted, our eyes are incredibly complex organs. How do they work? Is it possible for eyes to have evolved over long...

NEWS
The Conserved Complexity of Eye Cell Types
The late leading evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, said the eye appeared at least 40 times “during the evolution of animal diversity.”1...