Pterodactyloid Progenitor Was Already Advanced

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Posted on April 27, 2014 in Dinosaurs, Dumb Ideas, Fossils

Fragments of a pterodactyloid fossil from China indicate it was fully capable of powered flight, despite being called a “progenitor” of the others.

If all airplanes evolved from a flying, powered airplane, where did the airplane come from?  A similar question might be asked about Kryptodrakon progenitor, a new fossil pterodactyloid (the group including pterodactyls and pterosaurs) found in China.  The newly discovered creature, claimed to be 5 million years older than all other known pterodactyloids, appears from the artist’s reconstruction to be fully fledged for flight, just like the later ones.  How, then, can it be called a “progenitor”?

National Geographic shows the reconstruction.  Some later pterodactyls grew larger, and some had different head crests, but they all had the elongated fingers supporting fibrous wing membranes.  What can the article mean when it says that the fossil is“pushing back the evolution of the ancient flying reptiles by five million years” if not that scientists will now have to look earlier for a semi-pterodactyl or ancestor incapable of flight?  “Because pterodactyl bones are so fragile,” the article states, “little is known about the origins of the ancient dinosaur relative, which eventually evolved into the biggest creature ever to take wing.”  But how can they say it evolved if little is known?  An expert acknowledges that the fossil record for these flyers is “incomplete”.

Live Science says that K. progenitor “gave rise to fearsome flying reptiles,” admitting later in the article that this was a flying reptile itself.  There appears to be no evidential warrant for Tanya Lewis’s assertions about an assumed primitive ancestor:

Winged creatures called pterosaurs evolved from a primitive form that lived about 228 million years ago into the largest flying creatures that ever existed. The new specimen helps fill in an important gap in that evolution, researchers say.

The report also states that other fragments of the fossil are eroding quickly.  The researchers didn’t get there in time to get all the bone fragments out.

Science Daily says the creature had a 4.5-foot wingspan.  Though not as large as some species, it’s still an impressive feat of engineering to get an animal that size airborne with powered flight.  Yet readers are treated to more unsupported assertions, being told that this species “went on to evolve into giant creatures” and that the fossil “provides new information on the evolution of pterodactyloids.”

The article reveals a rather interesting observation about the provenance of the fossil:

It was found in a mudstone of the Shishugou Formation of northwest China on an expedition led by Drs. Xu and Clark when Dr. Andres was a graduate student with Dr. Clark at GW. The desolate and harsh environment has become known to scientists worldwide as having “dinosaur death pits” for the quicksand in the area that trapped an extraordinary range of prehistoric creatures, stacking them on top of each other, including one of the oldest tyrannosaurs, Guanlong. Kryptodrakon progenitor was found 35 meters below an ash bed that has been dated back to more than 161 million years.

It seems odd that a fossil could be so delicate after lasting that long.  One professor stated, “It is rare for small, delicate fossils to be preserved in Jurassic terrestrial deposits”.

We’ve heard this song and dance so many times it is truly tiring: some fossil “sheds new light on evolution”.  It’s the earliest known of its type yet it is fully formed with all the complex features of the assumed “later” species.  The creature “evolved from a primitive form” that is unknown to science.  Then the “progenitor” fossil “went on to evolve” into other forms, in a burst of “adaptive radiation.” Blah.

Without the spin doctoring, this fossil would shame evolutionists, being proof of abrupt appearance of another complex animal.  We must not tolerate the spin doctoring any longer.  Evolutionists need to be shamed into high standards for science: stop the storytelling and show us the evidence.

 

 

One Comment

John C April 27, 2014

It is fascinating that these evolutionists claim that these fossils were caught in quicksand, but how can they be certain of the depths (how many millions of years of layers, supposedly) the creature sank. While creationists can declare this creature a contemporary of man and feathered creatures alike, there is no confidence of dating this fossil in a “sliding scale” such as quicksand descent. “Slippery slope” indeed!

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