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Creation 31(1):51, December 2008

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‘Unique’ two-headed reptile fossil


Two head reptile
For copyright reasons we are unable to display here the original image of the two-headed reptile fossil published in Creation magazine.

Having two heads rather than one is a developmental abnormality which occurs with some frequency in living reptiles, especially snakes1,2 and turtles. But the two-headed aquatic reptile shown here is the first such vertebrate fossil ever found—‘unique in the fossil record’.3

Except for its two heads and two necks, it is similar ‘in every respect’3 to many other fossil specimens of the same species, a long-necked aquatic diapsid,4 commonly found at the same locality.5 Also in common with many other specimens from the same rock formation is its ‘extreme apparent juvenility’ when it was fossilized—note the proportionally large head, with very large orbits (eye cavities). Further, this species of diapsid could exceed 1 metre (3 ft) in length when adult, but the juvenile specimens (including this malformed individual) are all less than 9 cm (4 in) long. In fact, the researchers say that ‘the curled-up attitude of some of the specimens suggests that they were still in an embryonic position when they became fossilized.’3

There are two key points to note. First, this in no way is evidence of evolution, as even diehard evolutionists admit in relation to living two-headed reptiles, as there is no new genetic information involved in making an extra head.1

Second, the ‘good’3 preservation of the malformed and normal juvenile specimens as fossils speaks of rapid burial, in an unusual event. (We do not generally see reptiles being fossilized ‘in an embryonic position’ today!) Considering the vast numbers of well-preserved plants and animals found as fossils all over the world, this latest fossil discovery once again points to the reality of a worldwide catastrophe that buried organisms in abundance—consistent with the global Flood of Noah’s day described in Genesis 6–9.

So the two-headed diapsid fossil is only about 4,500 years old, not over 65 million years as the evolutionary paleontologists claim.6 And its two-headedness shows that in the post-Fall world by the time of the Flood, defects (just as we have today) had come into existence—in stark contrast to the original world that God declared to be ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31), only around 6,000 years ago, in which there were no such defects.7

Posted on homepage: 3 May 2010

References and notes

  1. Wieland, S., Too close for comfort, Creation 29(1):56, 2006; <creation.com/twoheads>. Return to text.
  2. ‘About 400 cases of two-headed snakes have been recorded in modern times.’ Two-headed reptile fossil found, BBC News, <news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6195345.stm>, 20 December 2006. Return to text.
  3. Buffetaut, E., et al., A two-headed reptile from the Cretaceous of China, Biology Letters 3(1):80–81, 2007. Return to text.
  4. Known under two contending names of Sinohydrosaurus lingyuanensis and Hyphalosaurus lingyuanensis. Ref. 3. Return to text.
  5. The Yixian Formation at Wanfuotang, Liaoning Province. The researchers (ref. 3.) are aware that faked fossils from Liaoning have been reported (see, e.g., Sarfati, J., Archaeoraptor—Phony ‘feathered’ fossil, <creation.com/archaeoraptor>, 2000), but have discounted forgery in this case, as ‘the condition of the fossil and the surrounding matrix excludes any tampering (in particular, the slab bearing the fossil shows no cracks or evidence of gluing), and there is no doubt that the specimen is genuine.’ Return to text.
  6. See: Young age of Earth and Universe Q&A; <creation.com/young>. Return to text.
  7. So this two-headed reptile fossil is yet another demonstration that Christian compromise with secular dating is untenable—see also <creation.com/rc-intro>. Return to text.