Giant Fossil Camel in Arctic Canada

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Giant fossil camel in found arctic Canada, according to Wired Science 6 March 2013 and Fossil Science 9 March 2013. Canadian and British scientists have studied 30 fragments of the leg bone found on Ellesmere Island in Canada's High Arctic. The fragments were in rocks dated 3.4 million years old – a time designated as the “Mid-Pliocene warm-period” in the earth’s history. The researchers identified the fragments as belonging to a giant camel by using a 3D digital reconstruction of the bones, and by analysing the remains of collagen (a fibrous protein) extracted from the bones. The digital reconstruction identified the fragments as being part of camel tibia, and they calculated it was 29 percent larger than that of a modern day camel. This makes it similar in size to a previously known extinct giant camel Paraceamelus gigas. Analysing the collagen involved adding chemical markers to pick out the different peptides (strings of amino acids) and comparing them to collagen from known animals. They found it most closely matched the dromedary (one humped) camels and also another extinct camel species found in the Yukon. The site where the bone was found also contains fossils of leaves and wood, and the research team wrote: “The results suggest that the evolutionary history of modern camels can be traced back to a lineage of giant camels that was well established in a forested Arctic”.

Natalia Rybczynski, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, commented: “We now have a new fossil record to better understand camel evolution, since our research shows that the Paracamelus lineage inhabited northern North America for millions of years, and the simplest explanation for this pattern would be that Paracamelus originated there. So perhaps some specialisations seen in modern camels, such as their wide flat feet, large eyes and humps for fat may be adaptations derived from living in a polar environment.”

Fossil Science, Wired Science

Editorial Comment: Several important points to make here.

1. Did you catch the swift evolution of the camel story? It used to read they evolved big flat feet for walking across hot desert sand and a huge hump for storing moisture/food against the harsh desert environment. Now a quick flip and the flat feet are for padding across snow and the hump is fat storage against future cold arctic winters, despite the glaring presence of fossil trees everywhere on Ellesmere (we have specimens). Isn’t evolution wonderful – there’s nothing it can’t explain due to its willingness to ignore all relevant facts. But in truth this discovery does nothing to help “better understand camel evolution”. The bone fragments were identified as being camel, because their shape and collagen composition matched living camel bones, therefore it tells us that from the time these bones were buried until the present day, camels have been camels. This is just as Genesis states – all creatures were created as fully functional animals according to their kinds, and designed to reproduce after their kind. Camels still do it efficiently enough to keep camel traders in business.

2. “Intelligent Design-ers” beware when you try to argue “the camel is evidence of creation because it is so well designed to survive in a desert!” It wasn’t! – any more than mosquitoes were designed to suck your blood or carry malarial parasites. Make sure your starting point is the very good world that God originally created. That means no frozen wastelands in the Arctic, and no Sahara (or other) deserts, and not the world you live in now.

3. The only notable change is that camels were once larger, and now seem to have shrunk, which is evidence camels originally lived in a better environment than the harsh arctic environs you find on Ellesmere today, which could not support Giant Camels. Both the camels and the environment have been degenerating compared to the Eden, where it all began and which had neither snow nor harsh summers. The reality is that camels can survive in extremely arid environments (cold dry or hot dry) because they already had wide flat feet, humps of fat, etc. This is a good example of “survival of the fittest” but it is not evolution. If camels did not already have these features before there were cold or hot deserts they would not have survived.

4. Finally, collagen peptides tell us the maximum age of the bone. How? Peptides are strings of amino acids held together by chemical links named peptide bonds. According to Ronald Raines of Department of Biochemistry and Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison “a peptide bond has a half-life of 400 years”. (Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009; 611: xci–xcviii). This means peptide bonds should have all fallen apart long before the claimed 3.4 million years, and there should be no peptides to compare with living animal collagen if the fossil really was that old. Another great Data Free Time Tale from the evolutionists. (Ref. mammals, fossilisation, biochemistry, arteriodactyls)

Evidence News 13 March 2013

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