January 23, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

Jurassic Ark: Mesozoic Fossils that Challenge Evolution

Here are recent discoveries of extinct terrestrial and marine reptiles and animals from the Jurassic and Cretaceous.

Generic early theropod: A “mini-T. rex” near the coast of Wales is reported in Live Science. Two brothers were hunting for ichthyosaurs when they found a theropod instead, from the early Jurassic. It looks very similar to ones 200 million years older. Why didn’t it evolve? “About 200 million years later, the [newfound] dinosaur looks a little generic, but at the time in the early Jurassic, it was quite new and different,” Steven Vidovic of the University of Portsmouth remarked. “So the reason it might look a bit generic in hindsight is that loads of later dinosaurs repeated the winning formula.” Because later theropods are assumed to have evolved into birds, New Scientist shows an artist’s rendition replete with imaginary protofeathers. What they are not asking is, where is the pre-theropod ancestor? Another interesting aspect is the manner of its burial. The BBC News says “the animal was encased in marine rocks, meaning its body was somehow transported out to sea before settling into sediments.” In fact, sea urchins were found all over it.

Marine giant: A pliosaur that “terrorized Russian seas” long before there were Russian people is announced on PhysOrg. Pliosaurs are like short-necked plesiosaurs, often larger; together, they make up the Sauropterygians. Pliosaurs “existed in the oceans from the Triassic right until the end of the Cretaceous, when they went extinct along with the non-avian dinosaurs and other vertebrate groups,” the article states. “This actually makes sauropterygians the longest living group of marine-adapted tetrapods (animals with four limbs), which is quite an impressive feat!” No doubt. But if they are tetrapods, didn’t they have to evolve from land creatures into obligate sea creatures, like whales presumably did? (see Living Waters film). Why, yes. Are there any fossils documenting such a “great transformation”? As with all ichthyosaurs (“fish-lizards”), “Clear transitional forms with land-dwelling vertebrate groups have not yet been found, the earliest known species of the ichthyosaur lineage being already fully aquatic.

Update 1/23/16: Oxford scientists had a “wow” moment when they discovered a long-necked plesiosaur, a “fantastic fossil” with almost all its bones in a quarry. They named their sea monster “Eve,” the BBC News reports. Plesiosaurs have 76 neck vertebrae, compared to a giraffe’s 7. Like pliosaurs, these creatures were fully aquatic but have no known terrestrial ancestors, even though according to evolution, they must have evolved from land tetrapods. All four limbs are flippers adapted for swimming. This one they claim is 165 million years old. A paleontologist remarked that Eve has “some anatomical features only seen in Picrocleidus, a plesiosaur about half the size of this new skeleton.” The neck alone is 8 feet long.

Big eyed arthropod: Dollocaris is an extinct Jurassic crustacean with twin eyes so big, they amounted to one quarter of its whole body length. PhysOrg has a picture of the critter that was announced in Nature Communications. One amazing aspect is the exceptional preservation, allowing scientists to count individual ommatidia (segments) of its compound eyes. They estimate this creature had 18,000 ommatidia in each eye—a huge number for arthropods, only exceeded by some dragonflies that have 30,000. Such large eyes with so many segments gave these creatures panoramic vision. The authors understand that Cambrian arthropods already had complex eyes 550 million years ago in the evolutionary scheme, and this one is much later, but they note: “Although apposition eyes most certainly evolved much earlier than the Jurassic, we present direct evidence here that the internal organization of the most common modern eye type already existed 160 million years ago.” Even so, if they “evolved much earlier,” they did so without any ancestors, since all the arthropods of the Cambrian explosion appear abruptly, eyes and all. Live Science says they had “incredibly complex sight” and “acute vision”.

Big guys: Another Titanosaur fossil was found in South America, PhysOrg reports. This one “likely shook the ground with each step in what is now modern-day Argentina,” it states. The behemoth was “82 to 92 feet and up to 66 tons – 132,000 pounds.” They are the largest land animals that ever lived, comparable to humpback whales in size. In a related article, PhysOrg shows a picture of the new titanosaur exhibit in New York. All the titanosaurs found come from South America and Patagonia.

Love is a frilling thing: Science Daily is making the claim that those large bony frills on ceratopsids are proof of sexual selection. The “first demonstration of sexual selection in dinosaurs” has been identified, they say, because the frills are “likely to have been used in sexual displays and to assert social dominance.” How can they know that? Well, scientists at Queen Mary University argue that the frills grew as the animals matured, therefore they must have been for sex. One of the profs shares his ideas on The Conversation, even speculating on what colors would have put a female Protoceratops in the mood for love. None of this is more than inference based on evolutionary assumptions. Meanwhile, in Canada, Phil Currie is excited about a different ceratopsid named Chasmosaurus and how its frill changed shape as it grew. This Science Daily article, by contrast, contains no speculation about the frill being used for sexual selection.

Dinosaur bones are real, and so were the creatures that left the remains. What’s unreal are the stories told about them. Evolutionists pick up the bones and, like shamans around the campfire, wave them about as they dream up worlds out of their imagination. Dinosaurs morphed from mythical pre-dinosaurs, they say, and then morphed into new shapes over vast periods of unobserved time. Nonsense. They appear without ancestors in the fossil record, and they went extinct. The facts of these articles challenge the evolutionary view and support rapid burial in flood conditions.



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