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Preserved mammalian hair from the Early Cretaceous

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Over the years, samples of amber recovered from numerous sites around the world have been found to contain petrified insects, plants and a variety of other exotic inclusions. Invariably, we get an insight into a past world where the flora and fauna look very modern. A recent discovery has identified mammalian hair in amber, whose original owner was a contemporary of dinosaurs.

The dimensions and topography of the two fossilised hairs were analysed carefully, because the find provides the first opportunity to look at Mesozoic mammal hairs preserved in 3D. The result:

“With such features, the cuticular surface of the Archingeay-Les Nouillers hairs shows a modern aspect, implying that the morphology of hair cuticula has remained unchanged throughout most of mammalian evolution.”

The New Scientist report says this is the first time researchers have been able to study the pattern of scales on their surface:

“It turns out that the pattern is identical to that found on modern mammalian hair: rows of overlapping scales stacked on top of each other in an orderly fashion, with each row roughly 2 to 8 micrometres high. This discovery is “wonderful progress”, says Zhe-Xi Luo, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “It shows the microstructure of hairs of mammals have always been the same.””

Why is this find worthy of comment? For more, go here.

"Whilst some invoke a common ancestor for all mammals, they by-pass the common design explanation." Perhaps if you 'fleshed' out the design argument a bit and gave indications of when certain species/genuses/families were introduced we could better compare the competing ideas. I'm pretty sure I've never seen an ID timeline of speciation. Surely such a thing would make the design inference more concrete. ellazimm
Robert Byers @ 5 "To suggest there are mammals is to admit there was a biological relationship between “mammal” ish types. does i.D say this?" No, ID does not start with an origins history and argue from that. ID is rooted in empiricism. Having said that, I want to suggest your words need to be rethought. When Linnaeus classified animals, he was not making a statement about lines of ancestry. He was setting his taxonomy in a design framework. Mammals are distinguished by body hair, mammary glands to suckle their young, and warm blood. Whilst some invoke a common ancestor for all mammals, they by-pass the common design explanation. David Tyler
Biblical creationism teaches, rightly, there was no such ancient ages. this is not based on biologfy but geology presumptions. This creationist insists there are no such creatures as mammals. There are just kinds. That some kinds have like details like hair is irrelevant. from a common blueprint comes come reactions to like needs. To suggest there are mammals is to admit there was a biological relationship between "mammal" ish types. does i.D say this? If so whats the beef with ToE? classification systems of critters based on ideas about mammals or reptiles is just ancient errors from early researchers who were wrong. Robert Byers
Error correction: it should read: "....there are many things that DON'T change over time." Big OOPS! PaV
Fross: It's a problem because we're dealing here with "explosions" of phenotypic change, and not gradual, over eons of time, change, the type that Darwin envisioned. Let me add, when it comes to the bird feather, we have the same sort of problem: the putative (so-called) 'primitive' bird feather turns out not to be primitive; and the known evidence suggests that the 'modern' feather is present from the beginning. Let's summarize the Darwinian 'two-step' here (actually a 'three step'): (1) They assert that major phenotypic change occurs gradually, over time; (2) evidence suggests otherwise; (3) when the evidence becomes overwhelming that changes occured 'explosively', then they say: "I don't see the problem here. Of course, there are many things that change over time." Bottom-line: Darwinists are always right. Always!!! PaV
So Rhino horns, porcupine quills, pangolin plates don't count? Have the scales of reptiles evolved much over the last 100 million years? Have fish scales? I don't understand why this is a problem. I'll follow that ARN link and see what they say. Fross
David, quoting you... "Whilst something can be said in favour of this view, it tends to hide the phenomenon of stasis." Exactly, far from a gradual process over eons of time. What we find is stagnancy of biological change. More so, historic interpretations prior to this finding are "possibly" wrong and should be openly questioned in scientific journals. Plus, more historical predictions prior to this proposed historial time stamping of these hairs, are quite "possibly" fairy tales. That historic predictions based upon Darwinian theory are tenuous and a frail bridge to reality of what we find in the fossil record. That Darwin's original hypothesis fails to predict such long period of stasis. Darwin's theory of gradual morphological changes over long periods up until modern times is indeed, not based upon solid evidence. What the record indicates is antithetical to Gradual modifications of minute changes over time. In fact, Darwin himself worried, such data voids his theory as a valid scientific explanation. What we see is an explosion of information content, stasis, small explosions, large gaps, etc., in the fossil record. This led ardent supporters of unguided evolution, like Gould to formulate a new hypothesis of Punctuated Equilibrium. To make up for obvious short-falls of Darwin's theory of gradual change over time. To anticipate such gaps, stasis and explosion of information. Thus, alternative theory is valid. And it should be acceptable for scientific journals to carry critical analysis of Darwin as well as alternative theory. Are these facts in todays modern high school textbooks? Doubtful. Not as long as Darwinian fanatics control the content and debate framework. DATCG

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