Cretaceous furball found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 14 October 2015. Scientists from the Autonomous University of Madrid, University of Bonn and the University of Chicago have studied an exquisitely preserved fossil mammal found in limestone rocks in Spain, dated as 125 million years old. The researchers have named it Spinolestes xenarthrosus and they estimate it was 24 cm (9.4 inches) in length, and was the size and proportions of a small rat.

It was buried in finely layered limestone and is well enough preserved for the scientists to see the fine structure of its skin and hair. Its hair has exactly the same structure to that of modern mammals. Some of the hair follicles have a structure similar to those of hedgehogs and African spiny mice, with multiple hair filaments sprouting from the same follicle.

According to Zhe-Xi Luo, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Chicago, “Spinolestes is a spectacular find. It is stunning to see almost perfectly preserved skin and hair structures fossilized in microscopic detail in such an old fossil. This Cretaceous furball displays the entire structural diversity of modern mammalian skin and hairs”.

The creature’s internal organs are also the same as living mammals. There were microscopic branching structures like those of lung bronchioles within the ribcage and an oval shaped region of iron residues where its liver would have been. These are separated by a curved boundary indicating it had diaphragm separating its chest and abdomen, as in living mammals.

According to Science News “The find pushes back the earliest record of mammalian internal organs and well-preserved fur by more than 60 million years, and shows that ancient fur and spines formed just as they do in today’s mammals”.

Luo commented: “With the complex structural features and variation identified in this fossil, we now have conclusive evidence that many fundamental mammalian characteristics were already well-established some 125 million years, in the age of dinosaurs”.

Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Evolutionary theory may claim that mammals used to be reptiles, but the real evidence, such as this new fossil, shows that mammals have always been mammals, with the same fur, skin and internal organs they have now. Furthermore, this is confirmed by living mammals all of which have only ever been observed to reproduce after their kind, i.e. reproduce more mammals. This is exactly what you would expect given mammals were created as fully functional creatures in separate kinds, as revealed in Genesis. (Ref. animals, hair, skin)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 20
4 November 2015
Creation Research Australia