Crocodile Skin

Oldest reptile skin found in Oklahoma cave as a team of researchers study a small fragment of fossilised skin from an infilled Permian cave system dated at 289–286million years old in the evolutionary timetable.  The researchers claim it is the “oldest-known preservation of amniote skin proper.”  (“Amniote” is a biological classification for all land-dwelling vertebrates that reproduce on land, i.e. reptiles, birds and mammals.) 

The skin fragment seems to have belonged to a reptile named Captorhinus aguti – an extinct lizard-like animal the size of an iguana.  The skin has an outer layer consisting of epidermal scales similar to that of living crocodiles.  According to an article from Cell Press (via ScienceDaily) the fossil skin “shares features with ancient and extant reptiles, including a pebbled surface similar to crocodile skin, and its hinged regions between epidermal scales resembles the skin structures in snakes and worm lizards.” 

Ethan Mooney of University of Toronto, one of the researchers commented: “The epidermis was a critical feature for vertebrate survival on land.  It’s a crucial barrier between the internal body processes and the harsh outer environment.”

References: Science (AAAS) News 11 January 2024; ScienceDaily 11 January 2024; Current Biology 11 January 2024, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.12.008

Editorial Comment: The comment about vertebrate survival on land exposes a commonly overlooked flaw in the evolution story of land-dwelling animals.  The transition from semi-aquatic amphibians to land dwelling animals capable of living their entire lifecycle on land needed a completely new skin type.

Amphibian skin is completely different in structure and function from reptile skin.  Amphibians have smooth skin that contains glands to keep it moist so it can help their breathing.  Reptiles have tough, dry, waterproof skin covered with keratin scales.  Any fossil reptile skin ever found, including dinosaur skin, has always had fully functional reptile characteristics.

If this this new specimen really was the oldest reptile skin it would only confirm that reptile skin has always been ‘fully formed reptile skin’ and has not changed since then.  Whatever its age, it is good evidence that reptiles were created as separate kinds, distinct from amphibians and have reproduced according to their kinds ever since – just as Genesis 1states.

Creation Research News 26 January 2024

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