Oldest Horseshoe Crab

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Oldest horseshoe crab found, as reported in LiveScience and Palaeontology, 51(1), 1-9, January 2008. Canadian Palaeontologists have found two small horseshoe crab fossils in Ordovician rocks in Manitoba, Canada, dated as 445 million years old. This makes the new fossils nearly 100 million years older than previous oldest known specimens. The new fossils have been named Lunataspis aurora and are about 4cm (1.5 in) long. This is much smaller than modern day horseshoe crabs, but the fossils may be young animals that had not reached adult size. Otherwise, they have the same body structure as living horseshoe crabs. David Rudkin of the Royal Ontario Museum, Manitoba, commented to LiveScience: “We wouldn't necessarily have expected horseshoe crabs to look very much like the modern ones, but that's exactly what they look like. This body plan that they've invented, they've stayed with it for almost a half a billion years. It's a good plan. They've survived almost unchanged up until the present day, whereas lots of other animals haven't.”

LiveScience

Editorial Comment: If this animal has really “survived almost unchanged” for 445 million years, after appearing suddenly and fully formed in the fossil record, then it is living (and dead) proof that no matter how much time you have, horseshoe crabs don’t evolve. Horseshoe crabs are classic examples of living fossils – a description used by Charles Darwin for animals and plants whose fossils are the same as living specimens. However, living fossils are no help to the theory of evolution. Instead, they are exactly what you would expect to find on the basis of Genesis 1 Creation, which tells us that plants and animals were created as separate kinds to multiply after their kind. (Ref. crustaceans, stasis)

Evidence News 18 March 2008

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