Category Archives: Convergent & Parallel

The number and extremity of cases chalked up to “convergent” or “parallel” evolution call into question the practice of drawing imaginary lines of ancestry between similar fossils and living organisms.

Hair is hair, for as long as it’s been here.

Today I’ve been studying about the oldest-dated fossil mammal hair. (http://news.yahoo.com/cretaceous-fur-ball-ancient-mammal-spiky-hair-discovered-132251323.html
“Cretaceous Fur Ball: Ancient Mammal With Spiky Hair Discovered”
from LiveScience.com, By Elizabeth Palermo, 10/16/2015 (updated at 3:52 p.m. EDT)

Surprise, it’s not from China! Spain has a very excellent fossil site, the Las Hoyas quarry. Back in 2011, they dug up a fossil now called Spinolestes xenarthrosus. Now a report has been published in the October 14th Nature, and LiveScience had this article about it (repeated by Yahoo). Major take-away quote:

You may think that, over the course of 125 million years, the process by which mammalian hair grows would have changed somehow, but that’s not the case, Luo said. The bones of Spinolestes, which was about the size of a small rat, are proof that ancient mammals grew hair the same way as modern mammals do.

Continue reading Hair is hair, for as long as it’s been here.

bird dinosaurs - Archaeopteryx fossil

Dinosaur birds were flying like modern birds

While I was researching the story on the oldest fossil shrimp, I noticed another story about one of my favorite subjects, birds that lived with dinosaurs.  The title is “Tiny ancient fossil from Spain shows birds flew over the heads of dinosaurs.” Now, a lot of creationists would read this and imagine robins and bluejays and such, but fossils of modern birds like those aren’t found in the same rock formations as dinosaurs.

It should also be noted that it isn’t news that there were extinct kinds of flying birds that were fossilized in Cretaceous and even Jurassic rocks alongside dinosaurs.

What’s exciting about this find is it provides very strong evidence that the extinct birds in the “early” or deeper Cretaceous layers had wings that were just as complex and well-designed for flying as modern birds’.  Continue reading Dinosaur birds were flying like modern birds