Cretaceous duck makes feathers fly, according to BBC News, 20 Jan 2005. A partial skeleton of a bird named Vegavis iaal was found on Vega Island, near Antarctica, in 1992, but has only recently been closely studied by a team of scientists led by Julia Clarke of North Carolina State University. The bird is believed to be 70 million years old, i.e. belonging to the Cretaceous period, when T rex ruled the roost, and modern birds such as ducks and chickens had not yet evolved. Clarke’s team claims the skeleton is a type of duck and is evidence that modern day birds not only evolved during the age of the dinosaurs, but managed to survive the catastrophe that wiped out dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period.
This claim is rejected by palaeontologist Alan Feduccia who believes that whatever primitive birds existed during the dinosaur age were all but wiped out when the dinosaurs were blasted out of existence, and the few surviving birds rapidly evolved into all modern day birds- the big bang” theory of bird evolution. Feduccia commented about the new fossil: “This is basically an unidentifiable bundle of bones. The analysis is based on very superficial features of bones, so I find it unreliable.” He went on to say: “Birds are very sensitive to any environmental disturbance – in fact they are a good indicator of environmental problems. But these people don’t believe whatever caused the mass extinction had any effect on the birds, and that seems ludicrous.”
Editorial Comment: Remember the old saying, “if it looks like a duck, etc. it probably is a duck”. We have no reason to believe Clarke’s team of palaeontologists couldn’t recognise duck bones when they saw them. Nevertheless, Feduccia has a point – how could a believed world wide disaster wipe out the dinosaurs, but leave other living creatures alive and well? Perhaps Feduccia should try the alternative i.e. accept the ducks’ existence, and question the catastrophe.
Finding ducks and dinosaurs in the same rocks is no problem for Biblical creation. Genesis teaches they both lived on earth from Creation to Noah’s flood, and specimens of both would have been taken on board the Ark. After the flood ducks obviously had some survival advantages over dinosaurs, i.e. they are warm blooded and can cope better with climate changes, and they can fly, so they can escape predators and human hunters more easily. Is that why dinosaurs died out and ducks are still here? (Ref. ducks, dinosaurs, Cretaceous)