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The fake Archaeoraptor Fossil

Archaeoraptor is a controversial extinct species of bird. This strange fossil had clawed fingers, toes, teeth, a tail, and feathers. It is the size of a small turkey and is supposed to be the missing transitional link between a dinosaur to a bird by some Evolutionists.

Although many claim it to be a dinosaur with wings, it is a fully developed bird and not a missing link. It has birdlike shoulders and a wishbone. It also contains a very large sternum. It has very little resemblance to the raptor family, sharing only a tail in common with other raptors. Even though it was found to be fake, some say the fossil is still an important find. It is still remains in the text books saying that its related to other organisms.

The Fraud

National Geographic's Article on the Archaeoraptor which later was proven to be false

In November of 1999 an inaccurate article on the Archaeoraptor was written by the National Geographic (Article number:196:98 -107) named "Feathers for T. Rex?".[1] In this article they hyped the discovery of this new fossil as an important link to the evolution of dinosaurs to birds. Xu Xing a chinese scientist later suspected that it was not authentic.

Back in the 90's it was well known that many of these archaeological finds were stolen and sold in the black market. It was also found that many of the fossils were mixed up as they were sold. A well trusted Chinese scientist named Dr. Xu Xing started investigating. In his investigation he found an exact tail matching that of the Archaeoraptor thus creating skepticism in this fossil. It was also found that the Archaeoraptor consisted of more than one organism.

Scientists would prove the fossil false by running test, they used CT scans and found that the tail and the legs did not match the upper body. Most fossils can be seen intact, but this one had the appearance of dinosaur times but it looked like it had been glued together. The top portion of the fossil looked like it was designed with 30 individual pieces. [1]

Some additional facts that Dr. Xu Xing found was on comparison of the two similar fossils found. Both of them had some identical features such as crack in the tail, yellow dotted line next to the tail section, and some small holes that indicated it had been been split in half.

This substantiated the doubt and it would later be discovered that the scientist had not had the time to authenticate the findings, or that the National Geographic Society did any of their homework either. This created a big buzz and many discreditable articles towards National Geographic. One columnist wrote, "National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism" as written by Storrs L. Olson. [2]. Most claim that the Archaeoraptor fraud was a mistake and not an act of someone trying to cheat to become famous.[3]. This surely isn't National Geographic's first and the last time of their hoaxes.

Other Problems

We can say with the importance in scientific discovery most scientist fear the probability of being wrong. Thus creating delayed facts, costly errors and humiliation. Not all can be blamed for erroneous assumptions.

Some of the problems are monetary. One could say that expectations from the public on unimaginable ground breaking stories bring in the money, thus rushing publicist to be the first to print the amazing discovery. Even though it has not been authenticated. Another monetary assumption can be the forgery and once again the profits in the black market can bring riches to those willing to take the risk, and make a quick buck.

Some problems though, may be due to shortage of funds to create another effect that may or may not derive from monetary issues. Sure short funding can create a short staff, and not enough equipment but some are due to improper or careless collection of the digging process. Others are due to time constraints, and getting the project done on time.

Regardless, the problems were there but no one was willing to take the time to research before going public.

Dinosaur to bird transitions

Main Article: Feathered dinosaur

Even though the Archaeoraptor was a hoax its counter-part, the Archaeopteryx, was not. The Archaeopteryx was a true living bird. Although many such feathered dinosaurs have been put forth, none have been shown valid transitional forms. The Bible itself proclaims that all land animals, including man, were created on the sixth day but birds on the fifth day.[4]

Creationists and evolutionists both agree that there are some problems with dinosaur to bird transitions. Alan Feduccia stated that there are significant differences between the embryonic thumb structure and also how the lungs are shaped. He also states that "dinosaurs have exactly the wrong anatomy for developing flight, with their large tails and hind limbs and short forelimbs"[5]

Sometimes the dating method is wrong or incorrect, sometimes they get the date that is older than some dinosaurs. At other times they get a date that is younger than their allegedly claimed second transitional form. This is just another point which proves Creation.[6]


  1. Sloan, Christopher P. (november 1999). "Feathers for T. Rex?". National Geographic (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society) 196 (5): 99-107. ISSN 0027-9358. 

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