Spectacular Spider Is a Long-Living Fossil | The Institute for Creation Research
Spectacular Spider Is a Long-Living Fossil

A fossilized spider was found in China with such perfectly preserved features that researchers were able to identify it down to its species name. Only two other fossils of its kind have been unearthed, and all three look like modern North American desert spiders.

But this newly discovered fossil is supposed to be “120 million years” older than the previous “earliest” fossil of its kind.1 Does this extend the time range for spiders, altering their evolutionary history—or does it call that very history into question?

The fossilized Plectreuridae spider was found in Daohugou in northern China, and its description was published in the German science journal Naturwissenshcaften.2 Microscopic examination revealed clear details of this soft-bodied creature. It was so much like its living counterpart that paleontologist and lead author Paul Selden told Wired Science, “The scimitar-shaped structure you notice out of the male is so distinctive. Looking at modern ones, you think, well, it’s just a dead ringer.”1

But it should no longer be a dead ringer, if evolution is true. It should be extinct and replaced by a differently evolved spider, or even a non-spider, after so much time. With 165 million years for mutations to build up (which scientific observation has shown would have occurred relentlessly), one would expect tremendous differences in the spider’s appearance by now. Instead, the Plectreurid spider fossil looks young, as though there has not been much time at all between this Chinese Jurassic representative and the living ones.

And not only are all the anatomical parts the same, but this newly described fossil appears to be fully formed, complete with eight eyes and spinnerets. It has no transitional or primitive features that would have later developed into modern forms, as evolution would predict. It is as though it was created fully formed right from the beginning.

The spider fossil was found in a rock matrix that also had “fossilized salamanders, small primitive mammals, insects, and water crustaceans,”1 indicating that it was buried as a result of an event so tumultuous that water creatures were mixed together with land creatures. The catastrophe encased this spider in a tomb of silt and volcanic ash rapidly enough to keep it from either being scavenged or decaying. This is consistent with the interpretation that Jurassic sediments were deposited in the latter months of Noah’s Flood, when “the waters were abated”3 from off the continents and gathered into their new ocean basins.4

There are many other “living fossils,” representing every major classification of animal and plant―clams, snails, trees, algae, crabs, fishes—and now this Plectreurid spider as well. In every case, the fossil resembles its living counterpart even after “millions of years” in which evolution could have made changes. There is no convincing evolutionary explanation for this data, but a young age interpretation would solve this problem neatly.

References

  1. Ghose, T. Stunningly Preserved 165-Million-Year-Old Spider Fossil Found. Wired Science. Posted on wired.com February 9, 2010, accessed February 9, 2010.
  2. Selden, P. A. and D. Huang. The oldest haplogyne spider (Araneae: Plectreuridae), from the Middle Jurassic of China. Naturwissenschaften. Published online February 6, 2010.
  3. Genesis 8:3.
  4. For example, see Hoesch, W. A., and Austin, S. A. Dinosaur National Monument: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Jumble? Acts & Facts. 33 (4). See also Austin, S. A. Did Landscapes Evolve? Acts & Facts. 12 (4).

Image credit: Paul Selden. (Adapted under federal Fair Use law. Image usage does not imply photographer’s endorsement of ICR’s commentary.)

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

Article posted on February 24, 2010.

The Latest
NEWS
Thanks for Everything
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20) Being thankful for...

NEWS
Even Sherlock Holmes Can’t Explain African Dinosaurs
A new species of duck-billed dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, was recently unearthed in North Africa.1 This is the first hadrosaur-type dinosaur...

NEWS
Glow-in-the-Dark Platypuses Illuminate the Creator
The platypus is perhaps the most evolution-defying creature on Earth. It’s not enough that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a...

NEWS
Rapid Crystal Growth Supports Flood Model
Secular scientists are finding exactly what Flood geologists have predicted all along—huge crystals can and did grow extremely fast. In other words,...

NEWS
Hot Neptune Atmosphere "Shouldn't Exist"
An exoplanet 260 light-years away is being described as the first of its kind ever detected.1,2 This exoplanet, catalogued as LTT 9779b, is...

NEWS
Inside November 2020 Acts & Facts
Where can we see God’s engineering? What is ICR’s new scientific theory? How do hummingbirds reveal God’s design? How can you refute...

ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...