Saturday, 14 June 2014

“100-Million-Year” Old Fossil Ichthyosaur Embryos and Other Soft Tissue Challenge Millions of Years Dogma

Stenopterygius quadriscissus was an ichthyosaur that looked like a modern dolphin. Image courtesy of Nobu Tamura, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

How long can soft tissue survive? Since the initial discovery of red blood cells in a T. rex leg bone by Mary Schweitzer in 1997, researchers have found collagen, haemoglobin, elastin and laminin in dinosaur fossils.

Blood cells and collagen should not last tens of millions of years. However, many scientists are reluctant to let go of the idea of millions of years of evolution.

They have also found soft tissue in marine reptiles and in mammoth bone, for instance.

According to Live Science,

Scientists found 46 specimens from four different species of extinct ichthyosaurs. These creatures, whose Greek name means ‘fish lizards,’ were a group of large, fast-swimming marine reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era, about 245 million to 90 million years ago

The largest ichthyosaur skeleton unearthed in Chile measures more than 16 feet (5 meters) long. The skeletons were extremely well preserved — some even retained soft tissues. The researchers also found fossil embryos inside a female specimen. They assigned the fossils to the family Ophthalmosauridae

Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, a palaeontologist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and colleagues published their findings in the journal Geological Society of America Bulletin.

The discovery of soft tissue in so old fossils challenges the evolutionary belief in millions of years.


Lewis, Tanya. 2014. Ancient 'Fish Lizard' Graveyard Discovered Beneath Melting Glacier. Live Science (May 28).