Oldest rapid-fire tongue found, according to reports in. ScienceDaily 5 November 2020, BBC Science Focus and Science Perspectives 6 November 2020, and Science 6 November 2020, doi: 10.1126/science.abb6005.
An international team of scientists have studied a small amphibian preserved in amber and were surprised to find it had an entoglossal bone – a bone found in chameleons that supports the accelerator muscles used to project their rapid-fire projectile tongue. The entoglossal bone was thought to be unique to chameleons until this fossil was carefully analysed using a CT scan, which revealed its structure in detail. The amber encased specimen was well preserved, with the remains of the tongue pad still attached to the front end of the entoglossal bone.
The scan also confirmed that the creature was an amphibian, not a reptile like a chameleon. According to the Science Perspective article: “The elongated entoglossal is a vivid example of evolutionary convergence, which justifiably continues to receive intense scientific scrutiny, because it is common and profoundly important”.
The amphibian was an albanerpetontid, an extinct group of amphibians, similar to salamanders, believed to have evolved at least 165 million years, and possibly 250 million years ago. Chameleons are believed to have evolved 120 million years ago. The researchers concluded: “Our results thus suggest that albanerpetontids were sit-and-wait ballistic tongue feeders, extending the record of this specialized feeding mode by around 100 million years”.
Albanerpetontids, nicknamed “albies” by scientists who study them, are an obscure group of fossils and scientists are having trouble fitting them into the evolution of amphibians. Susan Evans, an expert in vertebrate structure and palaeontology at University College London commented: “In theory, albies could give us a clue as to what the ancestors of modern amphibians looked like. Unfortunately, they’re so specialised and so weird in their own way that they’re not helping us all that much”.
Links: BBC, ScienceDaily
Editorial Comment: This fossil will not give any clues to the supposed ancestors of amphibians or the origin of projectile tongues, because as Susan Evans admits, albanerpetontids are fully formed creatures with distinctive features.
The excuse of “evolutionary convergence” does not explain anything. That idea is pure wishful thinking by evolutionists who can’t fit living things into their already made-up evolutionary line of descent, so they have to pretend a distinctive feature evolved more than once in different creatures, without any evidence of it actually evolving in either of them from creatures that didn’t have this feature.
If albanerpetontids did have the same projectile tongue function as chameleons that is a good reminder that all living things are unique combinations of non-unique parts. God created fully formed living things, ready to function, each according to its own kind. Therefore, it is no surprise to us that “albies” are specialised and weird, and don’t fit into an evolutionary story of simple to complex development.
Creation Research News 18 November 2020
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