November 11th, 2010
More "Living Fossils"
For the Laotian Rock Rat it was a day like any other. Then the men started chasing him. Running for his life, he was determined not to end up in a meat market like the rest of his family. Finally, he tired and was captured. Instead of knives, however, these men carried cameras. After some pictures, he was gently returned to the rocks from which he was taken. What was the occasion? Why the special treatment?
Meanwhile, deep in the Coral Sea, an innocent shrimp-like creature was placidly swimming along when suddenly it was captured and hauled to the surface. Camera flashes blinded its large eyes as it was examined by one scientist after another. What had the 5-inch long crustacean done to deserve such treatment?
This shrimp/lobster (Neoglyphea neocaledonica) and the Laotian Rock Rat (Diatomyidae) are part of a select number of plants and animals that have experienced what scientists call the “Lazarus Effect.” This is a situation where an animal, known only in the fossil record, is found living. Like the Coelocanth, the Wollemi Pine, the Tuatara, and many others, these animals have “come back from the dead.”
The Laotian Rock Rat, according to the Associated Press, was thought to have gone extinct 11 million years ago. Neoglyphea was thought to have disappeared 60 million years ago. Instead, they have been added to a long list of extant plants and animals that show little or no change from their fossilized counterparts. As the list of “living fossils” grows, the evolutionary picture becomes less convincing. The obvious conclusion favors creation and not evolution.
By Mark Sonmor
original article published:
July/Aug 2006 Think and Believe
The Fossil Book by Gary Parker
The Fossil Record by Morris/Sherwin
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