Until recently, all we knew about Mesozoic mammals was that they were small, shrew-like animals that waited their time and did not diversify until the dinosaurs became extinct. The past few years has seen this view challenged, with several much larger animals described, all showing signs of specialisation. The latest is a squirrel-sized glider said to be from a new mammalian order. Dated as Early Cretaceous (and it may be Jurassic), this is said to extend the “earliest record of gliding flight for mammals to at least 70 million years earlier in geological history.” The degree of specialisation has not been predicted nor expected by Darwinists, who look for gradual changes over time. Yet, “this was just totally out of nowhere,” said Dr. Meng, the lead academic working on the fossil. Specialised features are not unexpected if a design perspective is adopted. This argument has been well-documented in the context of the Cambrian Explosion animals. Here is a striking example from the mammals.
A Mesozoic gliding mammal from northeastern China
Jin Meng, Yaoming Hu, Yuanqing Wang, Xiaolin Wang and Chuankui Li
Nature 444, 889-893 (14 December 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05234
Abstract: Gliding flight has independently evolved many times in vertebrates. Direct evidence of gliding is rare in fossil records and is unknown in mammals from the Mesozoic era. Here we report a new Mesozoic mammal from Inner Mongolia, China, that represents a previously unknown group characterized by a highly specialized insectivorous dentition and a sizable patagium (flying membrane) for gliding flight. The patagium is covered with dense hair and supported by an elongated tail and limbs; the latter also bear many features adapted for arboreal life. This discovery extends the earliest record of gliding flight for mammals to at least 70 million years earlier in geological history, and demonstrates that early mammals were diverse in their locomotor strategies and lifestyles; they had experimented with an aerial habit at about the same time as, if not earlier than, when birds endeavoured to exploit the sky.
For further reading: Wilford, J.N., Flying Mammal Found from 125 Million Years Ago, New York Times, December 13, 2006.
|<< <||> >>|
Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at