Platypus ancestors get older, according to a report in ABC News in Science, 23 October 2007. Scientists at University of Austin Texas have carried out an x-ray study of the jaw of an extinct animal named Teinolophos trusleri, believed to be an ancestor of the platypus. They found it had the same canals in its jaws that a modern platypus has, which house the thick nerve bundles needed for its electric sensing snout (the “duckbill”). The electric sense is unique to the platypus and was thought to have evolved quite recently.

The only other egg laying mammal, the echidna, does not have the thick nerve bundles, so the platypus is believed to have evolved its highly efficient electric sense after its ancestors split off from the common monotreme (egg laying mammal) ancestor. This led Timothy Rowe, who led the study, to comment: “It suggests that both the platypus and echidna lineages were distinct by 120 million years ago, and that the platypus, at least, has occupied its stable niche as an electro-receptive aquatic predator ever since.” The skull studied by the Austin team is dated as being Early Cretaceous, about 120 million years old.


Editorial Comment: Occupying a stable niche is another way of saying this animal has done the same thing for 120 million years, i.e. it hasn’t evolved. The fact that the oldest known platypus seems to have had a fully functioning electric sense confirms the Genesis account of creation, where animals were created as fully functioning creatures in separate kinds, ready to function in the environment they were designed for. Delete the assumed 120 million years, and you have the consistent result that as long as the platypus has been here it has been a platypus, so the facts don’t disagree with Genesis, the theories about age and evolution do. (Ref. mammals, equilibrium)

Evidence News 12 December 2007