Secondary electron images of the trabecular bone following the removal of sparry calcite by light acetic acid treatment revealing exceptionally well-preserved soft tissues. (A to C) Represent collagen fibres with increasing magnification. (D to F) Reveal RBC-like structures with increasing magnification.

Regular readers of the website are aware of my fascination of dinosaur fossils that are discovered with soft tissues preserved.1)see. Heath Henning, “Dinosaur Discoveries and Preserved Soft Tissue,” April 23, 2016; http://truthwatchers.com/dinosaur-discoveries-persreved-soft-tissue/ , 4)see. Heath Henning, “Why Dinosaur are NOT Millions of Years Old,” February 11, 2017; http://truthwatchers.com/dinosaur-not-millions-years-old/ Indeed, many secular science journals have reported on this phenomenon.2)Greenwalt, D. E., Goreva, Y. S., Siljeström, S. M., Rose, T. & Harbach, R. E. Hemoglobin-derived porphyrins preserved in a Middle Eocene blood-engorged mosquito. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 18496–18500 (2013)., 3)Schweitzer, M. H., Wittmeyer, J., Horner, J. R. & Toporski, J. K. Soft-tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex. Science 307, 1952–1955 (2005)., 5)Schweitzer, M. H. et al. Analyses of soft tissue from Tyrannosaurus rex suggest the presence of protein. Science 316, 277–280 (2007)., 6)Schweitzer, M. H., Wittmeyer, J. L. & Horner, J. R. Soft tissue and cellular preservation in vertebrate skeletal elements from the Cretaceous to the present. Proc. Biol. Sci. 274, 183–197 (2007)., 7)Schweitzer, M. H., Johnson, C., Zocco, T. G., Horner, J. R. & Starkey, J. R. Preservation of biomolecules in cancellous bone of Tyrannosaurus rex. J. Vertebr. Paleontol. 17, 349–359 (1997)., 8)Schweitzer, M. H. et al. A role for iron and oxygen chemistry in preserving soft tissues, cells and molecules from deep time. Proc. Biol. Sci. 281, 20132741 (2014)., 9)Asara, J. M., Schweitzer, M. H., Freimark, L. M., Phillips, M. & Cantley, L. C. Protein sequences from mastodon and Tyrannosaurus rex revealed by mass spectrometry. Science 316, 280–285 (2007)., 10)Lee, Y.-C. et al. Evidence of preserved collagen in an Early Jurassic sauropodomorph dinosaur revealed by synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy. Nat. Commun. 8, 14220 (2017)., 11)Bertazzo, S. et al. Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75-million–year-old dinosaur specimens. Nat. Commun. 6, 7352 (2015)., 12)Melendez, I., Grice, K. & Schwark, L. Exceptional preservation of Palaeozoic steroids in a diagenetic continuum. Sci. Rep. 3, 2768 (2013)., 13)Melendez, I. et al. Biomarkers reveal the role of photic zone euxinia in exceptional fossil preservation: An organic geochemical perspective. Geology 41, 123–126 (2013)., 14)Briggs, D. E. G. & Kear, A. J. Fossilization of soft tissue in the laboratory. Science 259, 1439–1442 (1993)., 15)Briggs, D. E. G. The role of decay and mineralization in the preservation of soft-bodied fossils. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 31, 275–301 (2003). A recent report revealed  “soft tissues in the fossil record is more common than previously thought.”16)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4

This most recent report of the numerous papers stated, “Dinosaur fossils, even with the most beautifully preserved anatomy, generally lack soft tissues such as fibrous or cellular remains as well as biomolecules or molecular fossils. However, over the last three decades, several studies have shown that fragile tissues and molecules can be preserved over surprisingly long periods of time (tens of millions of years).”17)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 In fact, they claim not a mere “tens of millions,” but rather an obscenely enormous number such as hundreds of millions of years.

This latest article, published October 23, 2017 by Scientific Reports, states: “Here, we investigated an ichthyosaur vertebra (Stenopterygius) of Lower Toarcian age (~182.7 Ma), which has been preserved through encapsulation in a carbonate concretion (Fig. 1). The sample was collected from the renowned Posidonia Shale Konservat Fossil Lagerstätte in SW-Germany.”18)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 Emphasizing what I mentioned as an obscene dating scheme of hundreds of millions of years old, the authors proclaim, “Here, we report the oldest RBC [red blood cells], white blood cell (WBC) and platelet-like structures, >100 Myr older than in a previous report as well as the second oldest occurrences of collagen fibres and cholesterol.”19)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 Secular scientists only recently express a recognition of the fact that fossilization can begin quite quickly after a creature is buried.20)Yoshida, H. et al. Early post-mortem formation of carbonate concretions around tusk-shells over week-month timescales. Sci. Rep. 1–7  https://doi.org/10.1038/srep14123   (2015). “Early mineralisation of concretions around the decaying organic matter may occur within weeks or months.” 21)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4

So how do they propose these soft tissues can be preserved for hundreds of millions of years? “Therefore, early post mortem encapsulation led to preservation of the bone tissue in the concretion.”22)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 This is to say that shortly after the death of the creature (“post mortem”) the animal was buried. To preserve these soft tissues would necessitate rapid burial while the creature is still alive. The ichthyosaur dinosaur kind has been known to reach sizes of 50 feet long and 40 tons 23)Carl Wieland, Dragons of the Deep, Master Books (Green Forest, AR: 2006), p. 22 and has been compared with modern dolphins for their speed. 24)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 The question raised would be what could have been capable of catching this creature off guard to bury it so quickly and completely to preserve it’s very soft tissues other than the catastrophic flood of Noah’s age?

In 1836, William Buckland reported on a cuttlefish with preserved ink sac still intact. “I might register the proofs of instantaneous death, detected in these ink-bags, for they contain the fluid which the living sepia emits in the moment of alarm; and might detail further evidence of their immediate burial, in the retention of the forms of these distended membranes; since they would speedily have decayed, and have split their ink, had they been exposed by a few hours to decomposition in the water. The animals must therefore have died suddenly, and been quickly buried in the sediment that formed the strata, in which their petrified ink and ink-bags are thus preserved.”25)William Buckland, Geological and Mineralogical Considerations with Reference to Natural Theology, John Murray (London: 1836), Vol. 1, p. 307 As I mentioned this discovery in Lyme Regis in the early 1800s in a former article, I simply asked: “The cuttlefish was retrieved from an area that also contained ichthyosaurs and a pterosaur, which would demand secular scientists to perceive this cuttlefish came from the age of the dinosaurs. How could this ink be preserved for millions of years?”26) Heath Henning, “Why Dinosaur are NOT Millions of Years Old,” February 11, 2017; http://truthwatchers.com/dinosaur-not-millions-years-old/ Even in 1838, George Young was asking this same question. “Professor Buckland himself, though he attempts to neutralize the effect of his own testimony, shews in his Treatise (p. 307), by indubitable tokens, that the lias at Lyme Regis must have been deposited with a rapidity a thousand times greater than the sediment now accumulating in the sea; for the fossil cuttle-fish found there, must have  been killed and imbedded in the strata almost in a moment of time, being prevented from discharging the content of their ink-bags…. It is strange, that the learned author of these valuable remarks, should ever advocate the system of gradual deposition, during countless ages. The difficulties attending the system are vastly greater, than any that can be started against the diluvian [i.e. Noah’s flood] theory.”27)George Young, Scriptural Geology, Simpkin, Marshall and Co. (London, United Kingdom:  1838), p. 74-75 Anyone who has had goldfish has been well aware of the fact that sea creatures generally float when dead, not lay around the ground to get buried shortly after death. Obviously, this ichthyosaur was buried alive by a massive cataclysmic event that occurred so rapidly it had no time to escape. Furthermore, this could not have been millions, or tens of millions, and definitely not hundreds of millions of years ago as the rates of decomposition would not allow such ages.28)see Heath Henning, “Dinosaur Discoveries and Preserved Soft Tissue,” April 23, 2016; http://truthwatchers.com/dinosaur-discoveries-persreved-soft-tissue/

This newest discovery reported on the preserved collagen fibers. “These fibres show curved geometries and bundles (Fig. 2A–C) which, in size and orientation, resemble modern crocodile collagen…”29)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 Furthermore, “In close proximity to these collagen fibres, clusters of concave disks with an average size of 1.95 ± 0.21 µm (n = 75), closely resembling RBC-like structures reported from dinosaurs, were observed (Fig. 2D–F). In addition to RBC-like structures, WBC- and platelet-like structures were identified (Fig. 3) based on morphological comparison with modern analogues. However, all these blood cell-like structures are generally four to five times smaller than those identified in modern mammals.”30)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 With more anylisis of these Red Blood Cell like structure they confirmed that this was indeed what they were looking at. “RBC-like structures were isolated and analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), (Fig. 4) which highlighted the presence of both carbon and oxygen in these structures….Additional evidence for an organic origin is confirmed by the identification of the polar compound Me,Et maleimide (3-ethyl, 4-methyl-pyrrole-2,5-dione) extracted from the bone. Indeed, Me,Et maleimide is a known oxidative degradation product of heme and chlorophyll pigments. It is thus suggested that this maleimide likely derived from heme.” 31)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4

Interestingly, the evolutionists have been the “science deniers,” as evolutionists have been extremely skeptical of these types of discoveries, trying to deny them altogether. Brian Thomas explained, “Therefore, to accommodate soft cells from fossils into the standard long-ages view, scientists have had to make a tough choice. One option has been for biochemists to deny that the paleontologists are actually seeing what they claim is evident. Another choice has been for paleontologists to deny what the biochemist’s lab experiments have measured [as a decay rate for soft tissues].”32)Brian Thomas, “The Mysteries of Stunning Soft Tissue Fossil Finds,” in Jeffrey P. Tomkins, The Design and Complexity of the Cell, Institute for Creation Research (Dallas, TX: 2012), p. 81 The authors of this most recent report recognized the arguments of bacterial contamination but discount it as possible in this case for numerous reasons.

  • “All RBC-, WBC-, and platelet-like structures were exclusively detected in the vertebra bone. This is inconsistent with a bacterial origin, as bacteria would be expected to be present in the vertebra as well as the surrounding concretion” 33)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4
  • “…all blood cell-like structures were only revealed on the bones surfaces after removing the carbonate filling the bone porosity. This suggests they were entombed under the carbonate cement since it formed about 183 Ma ago, further supporting that these blood cell-like structures cannot be the result of recent bacterial colonisation.” 34)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4
  • “Furthermore, the RBC-like structures are not simply deposited on the bone, but are locally fused into it…”35)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4
  • “Lastly, coccoid shaped bacteria are generally smaller (0.5–2 μm) than the RBC-like structures observed here and they lack a concave shape.” 36)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4

Acknowledging the cellular structures observed were smaller than contemporary mammalian cells the authors gave praise to a speculative means of evolutionary adaptation in an atmosphere supposed to have lower oxygen levels. “With respect to adaption, we emphasize that Stenopterygius is considered to have been one of the fastest marine predators of its time, its cruising speed equivalent to that of modern day dolphin and with a similar morphology. A high degree of RBC aggregation has previously been reported in modern higher athletic species.37)Popel, A. S., Johnson, P. C., Kameneva, M. V. & Wild, M. A. Capacity for red blood cell aggregation is higher in athletic mammalian species than in sedentary species. J. Appl. Physiol. 77, 1790–4 (1994). This metabolic adaptation could potentially explain the clustering of the small RBC-like structures observed in this Stenopterygius. In order to sustain the metabolism required for high-speed pursuit predators, the muscular tissue must have been highly efficient and have been supported by a complex blood circulation system, adapted to low-oxygen environment, to provide sufficient oxygen to the lungs of the ichthyosaurs. Given that the bone studied is a medullary bone (i.e. vertebra), it would yield sufficient bone marrow (see below) to synthesise RBCs. Based on their small size, the fossilised RBC-like structures indicate a fast and efficient oxygen diffusion into the cells, allowing for high pursuit speed and thus providing competitive advantage over slower moving prey.” 38)Chloé Plet, Kliti Grice, Anais Pagès, Michael Verrall, Marco J. L. Coolen, Wolfgang Ruebsam, William D. A. Rickard & Lorenz Schwark, “Palaeobiology of red and white blood cell-like structures, collagen and cholesterol in an ichthyosaur bone,” Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 13776 (23 October, 2017); doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13873-4 This would be more fittingly explained by design. Not just design as presented in the deistic views of the contemporary Intelligent Design movement, but rather that which could only be explained by the omniscient Creator Who has revealed Himself in the Bible in conjunction with the worldwide flood of Noah’s day a few thousand years ago.

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