As usual, Bible literalists think a few anomalies can overturn our entire established knowledge about the earth. Ain’t gonna happen, guys.
Researchers have discovered what appear to be the remnants of red blood cells and connective tissue in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils.
The work could shine a light on long-standing questions about dinosaur physiology, including whether specific species were warm- or cold-blooded.
Chemical analysis revealed similarities between blood cells from fossils and those from living emu.
The work appears in the journal Nature Communications.
Here is the abstract:
Exceptionally preserved organic remains are known throughout the vertebrate fossil record, and recently, evidence has emerged that such soft tissue might contain original components. We examined samples from eight Cretaceous dinosaur bones using nano-analytical techniques; the bones are not exceptionally preserved and show no external indication of soft tissue. In one sample, we observe structures consistent with endogenous collagen fibre remains displaying ~67 nm banding, indicating the possible preservation of the original quaternary structure. Using ToF-SIMS, we identify amino-acid fragments typical of collagen fibrils. Furthermore, we observe structures consistent with putative erythrocyte remains that exhibit mass spectra similar to emu whole blood. Using advanced material characterization approaches, we find that these putative biological structures can be well preserved over geological timescales, and their preservation is more common than previously thought. The preservation of protein over geological timescales offers the opportunity to investigate relationships, physiology and behaviour of long extinct animals.
The piece from the BBC focuses on the questions that might be answered by studying such material. But there is a curious tangent to this…
In 1992, paleontologist Mary Schweitzer discovered what looked like red blood cells under a microscope from a sample of Tyrannosaurus rex bone. It was controversial in that we had no reason to think such organic parts would survive fossilization of the surrounding bone. She later discovered what appeared to be blood vessels and feather fibers. Creationists leaped upon the findings claiming this was evidence that dinosaurs were not old. Funny how they use “science” findings just when it’s convenient for them. They still failed to address the entire body of evidence from geology, biology and paleontology that shows that the earth is VERY old and animals evolved. There is NO question about this. It’s hard to emphasize that enough. We may not know the age of the earth within a few 10s of millions of years and we don’t know all the animals that ever lived on earth but we KNOW that populations of animals change through time and that we are talking BILLIONS of years, not thousands, that the earth has been around. Creationists’ beliefs are shallow and wrong and they must cherry pick very selective anomalies in nature to support their claims. No epic flood, but an epic fail.
The current news of preserved blood cells is from not particularly well preserved samples. This is indeed shocking. While it does require us to rethink fossilization processes, it does not require us to overturn the age of the earth or conclude the dinosaurs died in Noah’s flood. It does open up a whole new field of inquiry. Scientists will now examine the fossils they already have lying around in museums to see if a treasure is hidden inside. Soft tissue preservation may be common. Or, the whole idea can fall apart with a explanation as yet to be determined. This is exciting science. Creationism is based on one boring as heck book that isn’t even ABOUT biology. Young Earther’s ideas give us NOTHING ELSE to build on and discover.
Thanks to tipster Bill Turnbull