Fossil Feather

Archaeopteryx feather challenge reported in ScienceDaily 4 February 2019 and Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37343-7.

An isolated fossil feather found in limestone from Solnhofen Germany has long been considered to be from the famous Archaeopteryx, whose fossils are also found in the same rock layer.  The original specimen consists of a black film on pale rock, with the barbs of the feather clearly seen, but it does not at present appear to have the chief feather characteristic of a calamus, or quill – the hollow stem-like structure that attaches a feather to the bird.  However, a drawing of the specimen made in 1861 does show the feather with a quill.

A group of scientists have now studied the specimen using a new imaging technique called Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence, which have revealed the quill. This enabled the scientists to study the structure of the feather in more detail and compare it to imprints of feathers associated with archaeopteryx fossils.  They concluded that the feather did not belong to Archaeopteryx.

They wrote: “The morphology of the complete feather excludes it as a primary, secondary or tail feather of Archaeopteryx. However, it could be a covert or a contour feather, especially since the latter are not well known in Archaeopteryx. The possibility remains that it stems from a different feathered dinosaur that lived in the Solnhofen Archipelago.”


Editorial Comment:  These scientists should be commended for developing a new method for studying fossils that revels more detail.  However, their bias shows when they try to identify the feather as from a dinosaur.  It obvious that their evolutionary mindset cannot admit it could be an ordinary bird feather, even though that is what their technique reveals.  However, in spite of the fact no feathered dinosaurs have ever been found in the Solnhofen quarries, they ascribe it to an unknown “feathered dinosaur.”

For more on so-called feathered dinosaurs see the question: FEATHERED DINOSAURS? Don’t feathered dinosaurs prove that birds evolved from dinosaurs? Answer here.

Image of feather: Notafly, reproduced under Creative Commons Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Evidence News vol.19 No. 2
20 February 2019
Creation Research Australia

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