" We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." - Dissent from Darwin

Natural selection [is used] carelessly as a mantra, as in the evidence-free “just-so stories” concocted out of thin air by mentally lazy adaptationists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. (Isaac newton)

Friday, October 10, 2008

How TURTLE got her shell

A newly identified fossil could explain one of evolution's biggest mysteries – the origin of the turtle's shell. Bone fragments from a 210-million year-old, land-dwelling reptile from New Mexico suggest that the earliest turtles didn't have much of a shell at all. Over millions of years, rows of protective armour plates gradually fused together and to the reptile's vertebrae, eventually creating a complete shell. "Turtles ultimately originated from something that looked like an armadillo," says lead author Walter Joyce.

Exactly why turtles evolved their shell remains a mystery, Joyce says. A full shell might offer added protection and stability. And the proof could be in the pudding – their body plan is the world's oldest, changing little over 200 million years. "For some reason just being a turtle is an idea that came along and just really works," he says.

Storyteller: Walter Joyce, a palaeontologist, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Connecticut
Source: Fossil reveals how the turtle got its shell

Story research: Creation evolution headlines
A turtle missing Link - Are we missing something?

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