A 3-D imaging analysis shows that the skull is nearly identical to one much older:
Elasmosaurid plesiosaurs, lookalikes of the mythical Loch Ness monster, were the largest of the long-necked plesiosaurs, growing as long as 43 feet with half of that length deriving from their small heads and very long necks. Paleontologists from SMU (Southern Methodist University), as part of an international team called Projecto PaleoAngola, based their findings on a CT scan of the 71.5 million year old skull from a species of elasmosaurid called Cardiocorax mukulu.
This detailed 3D model allowed the paleontologists to compare the well-preserved skull of C. mukulu found in Angola to that of other species of elasmosaurids. They found that C. mukulu looked nearly identical to skulls that came from much older elasmosaurids, including one found at Cedar Hill, Texas, in 1931, whose 93-million-years old remains can be found at SMU’s Shuler Museum of Paleontology.
“The skull shape, organization of muscles, and the shape and arrangement of the teeth largely reflect how an animal acquired prey,” said co-author Michael J. Polcyn, research associate and director of SMU’s Digital Earth Sciences Laboratory “The interesting aspect of Cardiocorax mukulu is that it appears that this animal’s predecessors adopted a particular feeding style early in their evolutionary history, and then maintained the same basic skull structure for the next 22 million years”Southern Methodist University, “CT scan of an ancient reptile skull reveals little evolutionary change over 22 million years” at ScienceDaily
One researcher’s comment is revealing:
“Basically, in anything except living fossils, you don’t go 22 million years without evolving,” said [Louis] Jacobs, professor emeritus of Earth Sciences at SMU and president of ISEM at SMU.Southern Methodist University, “CT scan of an ancient reptile skull reveals little evolutionary change over 22 million years” at ScienceDaily
Well, first, if that’s true, maybe they were the “living fossils” of their day. Maybe it is not even that unusual.
In any event, the horseshoe crab’s brain itself didn’t change much in over 300 million years. Any chance there is a pattern here that devotion to Darwinism prevents people from seeing?
You may also wish to read: Do brains really evolve? The horseshoe crab’s brain didn’t. At Science News: “The preserved central nervous system lends insight into the ancient crab’s behavior, the researchers say. Because the fossil brain is so similar to the brains of modern horseshoe crabs, Bicknell says, it’s safe to say the ancient animal’s walking, breathing and even feeding habits were probably similar to horseshoe crabs’ today, including eating with their legs.”