Tentacular Squid: Rewriting Squid Stories Before the Ink Dries | The Institute for Creation Research
Tentacular Squid: Rewriting Squid Stories Before the Ink Dries

During a recent tour of the fossil displays on ICR's campus, a Dutch-speaking group referred to our fossil squid as an inktvis or "ink fish." This led to the discussion of a discovery in 2009, where researchers reconstituted dried ink from a squid's fossilized ink sac.1 The paleontologists even drew a picture of what that extinct squid looked like using its very own ink!

Because the squid was found in a rock assigned an age of 150 million years, scientists were "stunned" that it "still looks as if it is modern squid ink."2 No ink should have been found.

The squid at ICR is a body-impression fossil without ink or other original tissue present. However, the fact that fossils of soft-bodied organisms--like squid, jellyfish, sponge embryos, or algae--even exist is a direct contradiction of Darwin's primary explanation for the lack of fossilized transitional forms that should be there if his life origins story is accurate. He wrote that "no organism wholly soft can be preserved."3

But many "wholly soft" organisms were preserved. A five-centimeter-long fossil of a squid-like cephalopod has been found in a "Middle Cambrian" zone in Canada's Burgess Shale, near the very bottom of earth's fossil-bearing rocks. Cambrian rocks appear to represent catastrophic marine deposits made at the beginning of the Flood year.4

Named Nectocaris pteryx, it only had two tentacles and lacked the internal shell that modern squids have. The existence of this creature in this stratum forces the re-evaluation of many longstanding evolutionary conjectures about squid origins. Martin Smith of the University of Toronto, a co-author of the Nectocaris study that appeared in Nature,5 admitted that "we know very little about the relationships between the major groups of molluscs, and the early history of the group."6 Paleontologist Donald Prothero speculated in 2004 about an evolutionary "radiation" of new cephalopod forms from a shelled ancestor:

The earliest known cephalopod, Plectronoceras, is a tiny Late Cambrian form with a simple conical shell, but it has chambers, septa, and a siphucle. From such simple origins, the straight-shelled cephalopods underwent a spectacular Ordovician radiation.7

But Nectocaris had side fins, large gills, a flexible siphon for propulsion, a streamlined body for moving quickly through water, and refracting-lens eyes--like vertebrate eyes--perched on eyestalks.8 "Early" cephalopods were anything but "simple."

Also, if the fossil record is supposed to show increasingly complicated features as one ascends the geologic column, then why does this already complicated creature appear at the bottom?

A new evolutionary story will no doubt be written. It could speculate that shell-less Nectocaris might have evolved into a shelled form, maybe with an internal shell like squids, or an external one like nautiloids. Or, it could have been a "dead end" form, irrelevant to cephalopod origins. Or, it could have come from shelled creatures that were never preserved as fossils. Perhaps it lost that shell, and some of its descendants regained it--or didn't.

Nobody will ever know, because fossils alone cannot provide as reliable a historical framework as the Bible. The best explanation for the existence of this creature remains the one presented in Genesis--each squid kind was created fully formed from the beginning.

References

  1. Thomas, B. Fresh Jurassic Squid Ink. ICR News. Posted on icr.org August 27, 2009.
  2. The 150 million-year-old squid fossil so perfectly preserved that scientists can make ink from its ink sac. Archaeology Daily News. Posted on archaeologydaily.com August 18, 2009, accessed June 7, 2010.
  3. Darwin, C. 1968. The Origin of Species. J. W. Burrow, ed. Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books Inc., 298.
  4. See Sherwin, F. and B. Thomas. 2010. Understanding Evidence for the Biblical Timescale. Acts & Facts. 39 (4): 16-17.
  5. Smith, M. R. and J. Caron. 2010. Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian. Nature. 465 (7297): 469-472.
  6. Bettam, S. U of T paleontologists solve mystery of 500 million-year-old squid-like carnivore. University of Toronto press release, May 27, 2010.
  7. Prothero, D. 2004. Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology, 2nd ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 314.
  8. The Nature study stated that dark muscovite crystals formed inside the hollow eye-cavity and were "consistent with a camera-type construction."

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

Cite this article: Thomas, B. 2010. Tentacular Squid: Rewriting Squid Stories Before the Ink Dries. Acts & Facts. 39 (8): 18.

The Latest
NEWS
Fossil Chromatin Looks Young
What are the odds that a buried animal would still have intact DNA after 125 million years? Researchers publishing in the journal Communications Biology...

NEWS
Inside October 2021 Acts & Facts
How is the Lord’s handiwork on display at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park? Does the universe look old? What can we learn about science and...

NEWS
Two-Volume Series: Restoring the Truth about Origins
The subject of origins continues to attract interest from the public and the scientific establishment. Understanding our origins informs us of who we are...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Floods Form Fossils Fast
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
A Battle for Hearts
Since the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History opened in fall of 2019, tens of thousands of people have walked through our doors. They...

APOLOGETICS
Eating Bugs Isn't Always So Simple
The Lord Jesus Christ deserves glory for why He made Earth’s diverse creatures, and He also deserves glory for the complicated details of how...

ACTS & FACTS
Does the Universe Look Old?
Since distant galaxies are billions of light-years away, some understandably assume that distant starlight must have taken billions of years to reach...

ACTS & FACTS
Hawaii Behind the Scenes
ICR Research Scientist Dr. Brian Thomas and ICR Video Producer Clint Loveness, with help from friends and family, recently shot footage in Maui, Hawaii,...

ACTS & FACTS
Mutation, Design, and Faith
Any alteration in a cell’s DNA sequence is a mutation. These changes can come from copying errors, exposure to chemicals or radiation, or from...

ACTS & FACTS
Another Function of 'Junk DNA' Discovered
For decades, evolutionists suggested that huge sections of our genome (about half) did not actively code for the production of proteins or polypeptides—and...