Evolutionary scientists have once again claimed to have found a well preserved dinosaur fossil that has clear evidence of downy feathers along the back and tail.

Discovered in the Franconian Jura chalk beds of Bavaria in Germany, the young dinosaur was identified as Sciurumimus albersdoerferi and given a date of 150 million years.  Paleontologists believe the dinosaur was recently hatched when it died.

When I saw the photograph of the fossil and the artist’s drawing of what the baby dinosaur was believed to have looked like in real life, I did NOT see any feathers or evidence that they ever existed.  What I did see from the artist’s drawing was evidence of a typical reptilian frill along the back.

When I saw the photo of the fossil, it reminded me of a scientific presentation I sat in on at the 1998 DinoFest Scientific Symposium held in Philadelphia. Two scientists show that when a number of larger lizards are skinned, it often revealed a row of collagen fibers that could leave impressions similar to downy feathers.  Their paper and presentation was in response to the announcement of Sinosauropteryx which was touted as one of the first feathered dinosaurs discovered.  The images they showed looked very similar to what I could see in the photograph.

It causes me to wonder if this latest feathered dinosaur fossil really does show feathers or could it be a reptilian frill or frayed collagen fibers?  When people believe something so strongly, they can see anything they want to see, regardless of the reality.  It’s kind of like someone who has ‘buck fever’ when deer hunting.  I personally saw a man shoot a horse out from under my best friend and stood there telling us to get away from his deer.  He believed it so strongly, that he didn’t see a horse, with saddle, pack and rider.

Before I would run down the street shouting the discovery of another so-called feathered dinosaur, I would take a closer look at the fossil evidence and be willing to explore other explanations for what I see.

I also noticed that the evolutionary date they placed on Sciurumimus albersdoerferi of 150 million years is the same date that they place on Archaeopteryx, which is a true bird.  If Sciurumimus albersdoerferi is supposed to be a primitive evolutionary link to birds, then it’s rather late in their time frame.  It seems the progeny are more bird than their ancestor.  Ironically, birds did come before dinosaurs as they were created on Day 5 and dinosaurs on Day 6.

References

Feathered Saurians: Downy Dinosaur Discovered, Science Daily, July 3, 2012.

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Implies Greater Prevalence of Feathers; Megalosaur Fossil Represents First Feathered Dinosaur Not Closely Related to Birds, Science Daily, July 2, 2012.

Adventures of Arkie the Archaeopteryx

By Ryan Jaroncyk
Illustrated by Lisa Sodera

Join Arkie the Archaeopteryx as he flies through an ancient jungle and meets many unique creatures that are also not missing links. This delightful adventure helps children look at the natural world through a biblical lens, giving glory to God.

(PreschoolPrimary/Elementary)

Hardback, 48 pages

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