Unchanged amber lizards described in reports in ABC News in Science 28 July 2015, Nature Research Highlights 5 August 2015, and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas. 1506516112, 27 July 2015. Emma Sherratt at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia, and colleagues have studied 17 fossil specimens of Anolis lizards preserved in amber from the Dominican Republic.

Amber is the fossilised version of tree sap and Anolis lizards are small lizards that live in trees, forest floors and grasslands of the Caribbean islands.

The amber lizards were very well preserved enabling scientists to compare them with living lizards. Sherratt explained: “Most of ours had full skeletons, and details of the skin were impressed on the amber, providing very detailed images of tiny scales on the body and on the sticky toe pads”.

They were surprised to find the lizards were identical to living lizards. Sherratt went on to say “You could have taken a lizard today, embedded it in resin and it would have looked like one of these creatures. That’s how realistic and modern they look”.

Lizards living in the different ecological niches vary in body size, leg length and toe pads, e.g. larger bodied specimens around tree trunks and in the crowns of trees, small bodied short legged specimens living on small branches. The amber specimens had the same variations in body size and structure as seen in living specimens, indicating they lived in similar ecological niches. According to Nature this indicates “communities can remain remarkably stable over long evolutionary timescales”.

The amber is dated as 15 to 20 million years old. The Nature item is entitled “Lizards evolved at snail’s pace”.


Editorial Comment: Evolved at a snail’s pace? Actually they have not evolved at all! Truth time guys – they are still identical. Remember that researcher Sherratt said the amber lizards are exactly the same as the living lizards. As such they are evidence that Anolis lizards have multiplied after their kind ever since the time these specimens were preserved in amber. The older scientists believe them to be, the more you prove they have multiplied after their kind.

The variation in leg length and body size amongst living Anolis lizards has been used as evidence for evolution. However, the fossil amber lizards indicate that such variation has always existed, which simply allows lizards of varying shapes and sizes to find an appropriate place to live in the forests and grasslands. See our report Butterflies, Lizards Evolution in Action. (Ref. reptiles, ecology, amber)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 16
16 September 2015
Creation Research Australia