Sunday, 21 September 2008

The Lizard That Resisted Evolution For 100 Million Years

This tiny lizard resisted evolution for a very long time. Image from Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Geckos are fascinating lizards that climb up walls and walk upside down on ceilings. A new discovery indicates that this ability did not develop very recently.

As reported by National Geographic News, researchers found the gecko's foot, toes and part of its tail in fossilised amber or tree sap. They were preserved so well that the lamellae, that is, the sticky hair-like structures that give geckos the ability to climb vertical walls and hang upside down from ceilings, are clearly seen.

The gecko looks exactly like its modern-day relatives although researchers at the Oregon State University estimated its age at 100 million years. The gecko, which was found in Burma (Myanmar), is said to be 40 million years older than the oldest known gecko fossil. It was thought to have lived in the lower Cretaceous before the heyday of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Evolutionists believe that thanks to its sticky lamellae this tiny gecko was able to walk upside down on cave ceilings much earlier that was supposed. Once again a fossil find suggests that evolution does not happen even in a hundred million years.

In On The Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin admitted that the lack of suitable fossils weakened the credibility of the theory of evolution. In the book, Darwin discussed this problem for a whole chapter he chose to call “On the imperfection of the geological record”. He had to acknowledge: ”the distinctness of special forms, and their not being blended together by innumerable transitional links, is a very obvious difficulty.”

Darwin hoped that scientists would eventually find the needed missing links. However, 150 years after On The Origin of Species, the case for transitional forms is even weaker than it was Darwin’s day. For instance, nowadays many experts say that Archaeopteryx, which was advertised as the link between birds and reptiles, is a true bird. Moreover, living fossils such as the Coelacanth and the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) also weaken the credibility of Darwinian evolution. The new gecko find likewise suggests that biological evolution is a theory that is not supported by facts.

What is more, the tiny gecko with its incredibly fine lamellae looks as though it has been designed ingeniously. After all, engineers are trying to find out whether they could emulate the sticky gecko foot in robot technology.


Darwin, Charles. 1988 (1859). The Origin of Species. Ware: Wordsworth.

National Geographic News. 2008. Photo in The News. Oldest Gecko Fossil Found in Amber.(3 September)