|Courtesy of Answers in Genesis|
THE LATEST DINO NEWS
Greetings all you fine people out there! I hope and pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas and a great, Lord honoring new year’s celebration. My daughter and I reviewed the entire year and though there were some great hardships, there were also great blessings. And so I pray blessings upon blessing for you this new year.
Speaking of new, I would like to share the latest news on dinosaurs. In December, 2016, CNN, and the journals of Science, Current Biology , and Nature Communications, all released articles on a new “discovery”; that a dinosaur tail with feathers had been trapped in ancient sap, now turned to amber. “It should be noted that the fossil is not a whole dinosaur tail, but rather only a small piece of a tiny feathered tail measuring about 1.4 inches in length and containing 8 vertebrae, each about the size of a grain of rice! It isestimated that this would make this presumed relative of T. rex about the size of a sparrow. The tail piece is undoubtedly covered with tiny feathers that are essentially identical to those of modern birds, but is this in fact a dinosaur tail rather than a bird tail? The feathered tail specimen known as DIP-V-15103 was discovered by Chinese paleontologist Lida Xing while shopping in an amber market in Myanmar (formerly Burma). He purchased a piece of Myanmar Mid-Cretaceous amber that contained a tiny feathered tail piece as well as various insects. Without knowing its in situ origin, right away, ‘he knew he had something special’ and declared it to be the tail from a 99-million-year-old feathered theropod (bipedal) dinosaur. Had it merely been a piece of bird tail with feathers, it would have been of only passing interest. But a real dinosaur with undisputed feathers clearly attached to the tail is a very different matter.”1
Answers in Genesis’ David Menton did a great job of critically examining the evidence published by Xing et al.
First, no modern birds have long bony tails, feathered or otherwise.
Second, no dinosaur fossils contain bird feathers. The only animal that has a long tail with feathers attached are extinct birds such as Archaeoptryx (which, by the ways, has long since been classified as a true bird and not a transitional form).
Third, the tail fragment in the amber is only 1.4 inches long and contains only eight vertebrae that appears to be from somewhere in the middle of the tail (scientists believe that the tail contained a total of 15-25 vertebrae). Extinct bird fossils contain vertebrae that is fused near the terminal end. Dinosaurs don’t. So these scientists claim the tail fragment belonged to a theropod dinosaur. Two big problems; the tail fragment in amber was of the middle portion of the tail; and no known dinosaur has feathers. Very shaky grounds to conclude the tail fragment belonged to a dinosaur.
Fourth, the paired arrangement of DIO-V-15103’s feathers in linear rows is similar to feather tracts and tail feathers in modern birds.
Five, the feathers trapped in amber are nearly identical to modern bird feathers even though Xing et al., refered to the feathers as ‘primitive plumage’. “But the only ‘primitive’ feature mentioned is that the rachis (central shaft) of the feathers is somewhat thinner than that of most modern feathers. Indeed, they claim that the rachis is no thicker than the branching barbs, but this is not at all evident in examining their published photographs. In fact, each feather of DIP-V-15103 has a well-developed rachis with barbs and barbules. This contrasts sharply with the nebulous fine filaments (dino fuzz) that have been referred to as “feathers” or “proto feathers” in non-avian dinosaurs (most evolutionists consider birds to be dinosaurs, but real dinosaurs are referred to as non-avian dinosaurs, while real birds are referred to as avian dinosaurs).”2
Six, “As in the case of Archaeopteryx, the calamus (quill) of the feathers appears to attach either on or near the tail vertebrae. The important issue here is the very low weight of the tail. In contrast, theropod dinosaurs had heavy muscular tails that balanced the weight of the dinosaur while walking on two legs.”3 So if this creature had really been a dino-bird, it would have fallen on its face because there would not have been enough weight in the rear to counteract the animals torso and head.
Seven, bird feathers grow out of deeply embedded follicles similar to hair follicles in humans. Dinosaur scales develop from the surface of the animal’s skin. DIP-V-15103’s feathers were attached either on or near the vertebrae. That is deep, certainly not on the surface skin.
Menton nicely concludes “that DIP-V-15103 is a bird, and not a 99-million-year-old theropod dinosaur. This is supported by the discovery of 99-million-year-old bird wings including bones and feathers found by Lida Xing et al. in the same type of Burmese amber as DIP-V-15103. I reject the age assigned to these fossils, but it shows that small birds, perhaps juveniles, left evidence of their unquestionably bird-like anatomy in Burmese amber. So where is the evolution?”4 And I couldn’t agree more.
Until next time, God bless and take care!