August 20, 2002 | David F. Coppedge

Soft Squid Ink Sac Claimed to Be 150 Million Years Old

51; The BBC News announced the discovery of a fossil squid with its ink sac still intact.  “The fossil, thought to be 150 million years old, was found when a rock was cracked open, revealing the one-inch-long black ink sac.”  The ink has been sent to Yale for analysis.  An article on the Daily Mail UK shows a close-up of the ink sac and a drawing being made with the ink.  Reporter David Derbyshire wrote, “The odds of finding something as delicate as a squid’s ink sac intact after so long are put at a billion to one,” but he did not explain how the odds were calculated.
    Dr. Phil Wilby of the British Geological Survey (shown in a report on the Metro UK explained why this fossil was so surprising.  “They can be dissected as if they are living animals, you can see the muscle fibres and cells.  It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilised in three dimension, still black, and inside a rock that is 150 million years old.”

A group of old men were spinning their best yarns at a reunion, playing “Can you top this?”  The prize went to old Charlie, who said, “When I was a young scuba diver, I found an old Spanish galleon off the coast of Bermuda.  It was dark and cold and looked downright haunted.  So I slithered through an opening and got inside.  Then I saw a faint glow and went toward it, and…”  The others leaned forward with anticipation.  “So what did you find, Charlie?” asked Hubert.  “I went around a corner, down a hatch, and found this old lantern, and the light was still lit!”
    If you don’t believe Charlie’s story, then why would you believe Uncle Phil’s tale that this ink sac is 150 million years old, and “The structure is similar to ink from a modern squid so we can write with it.”  Indeed, the article features a sketch made of the creature, with its Latin name, drawn with the ink they found in the fossil.  Try writing with one of the old dried up pens in your desk.  Inventing a term “the Medusa Effect” for the long-lasting fossilization of soft tissue is a euphemism for “We haven’t got a clue!”
    What does this tell you about the so-called Jurassic Era you’ve heard about all your life?  What does this do to the rest of the geologic column?  What does this do to the evolutionary belief system built on the vast ages of time they treat as scientific fact?  Get real.  If fossil squid ink is still writeable today, we’ll give him a few thousand years, but not millions.  We know old Charlie had a knack for stretching the truth.

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Categories: Fossils, Marine Biology

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