Oldest pelican surprises scientists, according to reports in BBC News 11 June 2010 and Journal of Ornithology, published online 28 May 2010. French fossil researchers have found a well preserved fossil of a pelican, complete with large beak, in early Oligocene limestone in Luberon, southeastern France dated at 30 million years old, making it the oldest known pelican. The bird was a little over one metre long from tail to beak and had a wingspan of about two metres.

The researchers were surprised by how much the fossil bird resembled living pelicans. Antoine Louchart University of Lyon, who studied the fossil, commented: “It is remarkably similar morphologically to the seven species of living pelican, but its proportions differ slightly from all of them, so it probably represents a distinct species.” He went on to say “It shows an example of stasis, or no morphological change, in the skeleton, although perhaps changes in other characteristics occurred, such as plumage or behaviour.” Louchart also notes that other flying creatures, such as bats, have remained unchanged for about 50 million years.


Editorial Comment: “Stasis” means “hasn’t changed”, or “stayed the same”, i.e. didn’t evolve, but produced its own kind! Can’t say it, can they! This fossil is a fully formed pelican, with all the distinctive features of pelicans, and it is evidence that pelicans have always been pelicans, and show no signs of having evolved from, or into, anything else. No surprise to us, but we accept that the Creator, who made the first pelican, clearly stated in Genesis that flying creatures were made according to their kinds and all our observations confirm that such living creatures actually do behave in this fashion – they reproduce after their kinds. (Ref. aves, equilibrium, fossilisation)

Evidence News, 23 June 2010