January 28, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Horseshoe Crabs Unchanged Since Ordovician

A fossil horseshoe crab has been discovered in Canada that pushes back their origins at least 100 million years in the evolutionary timetable.  The previous record placed these marine arthropods in the Carboniferous (350 million years BP in the geologic column); others were known from the Jurassic.  “Both the Carboniferous and the Jurassic fossil discoveries indicate the ancient horseshoe crabs greatly resembled their modern-day counterparts,” said Live Science.1
    The article contains photos of the two nearly-complete specimens, which look like tiny versions of modern horseshoe crabs.  From head to tip of the tail, these are 1.5″ long.  Modern ones can grow to 20″.  The discoverers put it into a new genus, Lunataspis aurora, but were not sure if the small specimens were juveniles or adults.
    How do evolutionists deal with this example of extreme stasis, or lack of evolution, for hundreds of millions of years?  Comments in the article revealed the reaction: surprise, yet no loss of confidence in evolution or the timeline.

  • “We wouldn’t necessarily have expected horseshoe crabs to look very much like the modern ones, but that’s exactly what they look like,” [David] Rudkin [Royal Ontario Museum] said.
  • “This body plan that they’ve invented, they’ve stayed with it for almost a half a billion years.  It’s a good plan,” Rudkin told LiveScience“They’ve survived almost unchanged up until the present day, whereas lots of other animals haven’t.”
  • And whereas major extinction events have wiped even the mightiest, non-avian [sic] dinosaurs from our planet, this primitive-looking organism has come out unscathed.
  • “The horseshoe crab, the lowly little animal that crawls out of the sea every once in a while to mate, it’s survived for at least 445 million years in more or less the same form,” Rudkin said.

The specimens were so finely preserved, even the compound eyes and flexible chitin coating were visible.  “Chitin degrades over time,” the article states.  “For that reason, ancient specimens of horseshoe crabs have been sparse.”
Update 02/01/2008: Science magazine, in its “Random Samples” feature,2 admitted these fossils are virtually identical to modern horseshoe crabs.  David Rudkin said these are the “quintessential ‘living fossils’ of biology textbooks.”  Another paleontologist said the common ancestor should exist somewhere in Cambrian.


1.  An article from National Geographic News in 2002 (reported here 06/21/2002) claims that horseshoe crabs go back 500 million years, but did not cite any specific fossils.  If true, it pushes the horseshoe crab into the Cambrian.  Horseshoe crabs possess many similarities to those icons of the Cambrian explosion, the trilobites.
2.  Random Samples, Science, Volume 319, Number 5863, Issue of 01 February 2008.

Friends, you have just witnessed ideology driving belief to the point of absurdity.  This is why evolution gets falsified over and over and over again, and its adherents still refuse to admit defeat.  And this is not the worst example.  Remember the fossil ctenophores that look identical to modern ones, but were found fossilized in Cambrian strata 540 million years old? (04/03/2007).  The whole fossil record is replete with similar stories of extreme stasis (e.g., 12/26/2006, 11/15/2007 bullet 6, 04/23/2006).
    Notice that these specimens were already fully-equipped horseshoe crabs.  They were not primitive, transitional forms.  An evolutionist would have to infer that their ancestors existed far earlier, probably back in the Cambrian or before.  It’s probably only a matter of time that a Cambrian horseshoe crab will be discovered.  Trilobites, similar complex arthropods with jointed appendages and compound eyes, are well known Cambrian animals.  In any case, these fully-formed horseshoe crabs appear abruptly in the Ordovician strata without ancestors, with soft parts fossilized and undisturbed.  If they are juveniles, they could well be identical to modern species.
    The only explanation is that the millions of years in the evolutionary timetable are complete fiction.  These specimens are not hundreds of millions of years old.  That would be obvious to any impartial jury hearing all the evidence.  To admit that, though, would be tantamount to reclassifying Darwin’s little book from the science section to the storybook section – a fate too horrible for the Darwinists to imagine, so the faith goes on.
    But faith it is.  What shameless credulity allows these people to believe that delicate fossils like these sat in rocks half a billion years only to show up now, unchanged from living counterparts?  Think about how many generations that is (in their timeline).  There was ample opportunity for the inexorable forces of evolutionary change we are forced to learn about in school to have modified these spider-like animals – to have given them harder armor, lungs, snorkels, water wings or something to show for all that time.
    The claim that they invented a good body plan and stayed with it half a billion years is so ludicrous, all sensible people should rise up and laugh the Darwinists to shame.  If this were the only case it would be sufficient, but critics have been pointing out these anomalies since Darwin’s day, and nothing ever changes.
    So strong is the grip of the Darwin Party on institutional science, theirs is the only belief system too sacred to criticize.  By force of decree it has been labeled the “scientific” view of the world.  It and it alone is permitted to be taught as “science.”  All other explanations must be relegated to the religion class, where the pseudoscientists and clowns hang out.  Something is really rotten in this regime.

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Categories: Fossils, Marine Biology

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