Bat Flying

Palaeontologists at the American Museum of Natural History and Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands have studied two bat skeletons found in the Green River Formation in Wyoming, USA, and claim to have found a new species of fossil bat. 

Nearly 30 bat fossils have been found in the Green River formation, representing two species. The new fossil bats had shorter broader wings than other Green River bats, and they had claws on the wing’s first and second digit, and therefore have been classified as a new species named Icaronycteris gunnelli. Otherwise, they “looked almost similar to present-day bats”.

The fossils have been dated as 52 million years old.  The researchers wrote: “The relative stratigraphic position of these fossils indicates that they are the oldest bat skeletons recovered to date anywhere in the world.” 

Arvid Aase, park manager and curator at the Fossil Butte National Monument, in Wyoming, explained: “One of these bat specimens was found lower in the section than all other bats, making this species older than any of the other bat species recovered from this deposit.”

Nancy Simmons, one of the research team commented: “This is a step forward in understanding what happened in terms of evolution and diversity back in the early days of bats.”

References: Interesting Engineering 12 April 2023; Science (AAAS) News 12 April 2023; ScienceDaily 13 April 2023; PLOS ONE 12 April 2023, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0283505

Editorial Comment:  Let’s call a spade a spade, and face the fact that when you find two fully formed bats with all the features of present-day bats, it doesn’t matter how old you think these fossil bats are, they will not help scientists understand the evolution of bats!

The difference in wing structure, plus the fact that this bat species is now extinct, does tell us something about diversity of bats – there used to be more bat varieties, i.e. there has been a decrease in diversity. 

Those who believe bats evolved from non-flying mammals are ignoring the actual evidence that fossil and living bats confirm the record of Genesis, which tells us flying creatures were created fully functional, according to their kinds, on the fifth creation day.  Yet land dwelling mammals were not created until the sixth day.  Since then, flying and non-flying mammals have reproduced after their kinds, but some, like Icaronycteris gunnelli have died out, while none have evolved.  These fossils also confirm the overall history of the world as being created perfectly complex, but because of human sin and God’s judgement, it is degenerating and losing living things.

Another fossil bat also dated as 52 million years old was reported in 2008 – see our report Oldest Bat Fossil here. So why is this one now claimed to be the oldest bat?  Note the claim “stratigraphic position of these fossils” i.e. the rock layer it was found in.  This dating method depends on the assumption that lower layers were laid down before upper layers in a process of depositing one layer on top of one another.  However, experiments conducted by Creation Research show that rock layers are actually laid down sideways, which means lower layers can be laid down at the same time as upper layers. More details of our strata experiments here.

Creation Research News 4 May 2023

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