Fossil fancy tail feathers found, according to reports in ScienceDaily and Field Museum of Natural History Chicago 16 September 2021 and Current Biology 16 September 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.08.044.

Chinese and American scientists have studied the fossil of an extinct bird found in the Jehol Biota in northeastern China. The fossil has been named Yuanchuavis kompsosoura after Yuanchu, a Chinese mythological bird. It is one of a group of extinct birds known as enantiornithines, and is dated as 120 million years old.

It was a small bird, but had a most impressive tail consisting of a fan of short feathers at the base and two very long feathers with long spines and plumed ends. Overall, the tail was one and a half time the length of the bird’s body. This arrangement is seen in some living birds and is called a pintail.

The short fan of feathers would have been good for flying but the long feathers would be a hindrance to flying, which poses a problem for evolution. Any hindrance to flying would make the bird less fit in the struggle for survival by natural selection. Therefore, the researchers claim the pintail evolved by sexual selection, otherwise known as survival of the sexiest.

They wrote: “The extravagant but aerodynamically costly long central plumes, as an honest signal of quality, likely evolved in enantiornithines through the handicap process of sexual selection”. Jingmai O’Connor, a palaeontologist at the Field Museum explained what is meant by “honest signal” and “handicap process” as follows: “Scientists call a trait like a big fancy tail an ‘honest signal’, because it is detrimental, so if an animal with it is able to survive with that handicap, that’s a sign it’s really fit. A female bird would look at a male with goofily burdensome tail feathers and think, ‘Dang, if he’s able to survive even with such a ridiculous tail, he must have really good genes’”.

Links: Field Museum, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: The imagination of evolutionists is truly amazing – female birds making clinical assessments of male birds’ genetics based on their tail feathers?!

Sexual selection may explain how birds with extravagant feathers survive, but not how they got the attractive feathers in the first place. Fancy feathers on male birds may attract mates, but the evolutionists cannot explain how the potential mate’s perception of attractiveness produced the genes for those feathers in the male.

Darwin promoted the theory of sexual selection, and used it to explain features like the elaborate feathers of the peacock train. However, like natural selection, sexual selection can only have an effect on survival after a structure already exists. Otherwise, there is nothing for the ‘selector’ to select.

Darwin’s whole theory of evolution is based on imagination and wishful thinking, and it has only survived because generations of people wanted an excuse not to believe in the Creator God who made them and therefore can call them to account. It is far more logical to believe God created birds with all their glorious and sometimes quirky plumage in their fully formed state, ready to mate and reproduce according to their kinds.

Creation Research News 29 September 2021

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