Amber dino feathers found, according to reports in ScienceNOW 15 September 2011, ScienceDaily 16 September 2011, and Science vol. 333, pp1619-1622, 15 September 2011.

Scientists in Canada have found amber containing feathers and some filaments that the researchers believe to be dinosaur “protofeathers”. The 11 pieces of amber were found in coal-rich strata at Grassy Lake, Alberta, Canada and are dated as 78 to 79 million years old. Some of the preserved feathers have the specialised features of flight feathers seen in living birds – barbs with Velcro-like hooks that hold them together to make flight surface. Others have the structure of feathers seen in water birds that absorb water and decrease buoyancy, enabling the birds to dive and also collect water to take back to the nest. The researchers suggest these were from a waterfowl like a modern day grebe.  Along with these modern-looking feathers are some “regularly spaced, hollow filaments, each of which is about 16 micrometers in diameter, about the size of the finest human hair.” These do not have cell walls like fungal threads or plant fibres, nor do they have the scales found in mammal hair.

Ryan McKellar, a palaeontologist at the University of Alberta in Canada, who led the research team explained: “We don’t absolutely know what they are, but we’re pretty sure what they’re not”. He said they could be dinosaur protofeathers because they appear similar to carbonised fibres found associated with some dinosaur fossils. However, no dinosaur fossils have been found directly associated with the amber.

Richard Prum, an evolutionary ornithologist at Yale University, commented that McKellar’s team “present an exciting and broad sample of feathers”, but the lack of any preserved remains such as bone or skin in the amber could mean they have nothing to do with dinosaurs, and could be something completely new to fossil researchers.


Editorial Comment: Prum is correct. There is no dinosaur bone, no tissue, not a thing in these filaments or in the amber to connect them with dinosaurs, other than an already held belief that dinosaurs evolved into birds and must have grown feathers as part of the process. The modern looking feathers are not only good evidence that waterfowl were already present with the dinosaurs, but their specialised feathers show they have always been waterfowl since this amber formed, i.e. no help to evolutionists, but wonderfully consistent with multiplying “after their kind”, just as Genesis 1 says.

Evidence News 21 September 2011

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