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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CC371.1:

Soft, flexible tissue, complete blood vessels, and apparently intact cells were found when a Tyrannosaurus bone was broken open (Schweitzer et al. 2005). Such preservation indicates that the bones are only a few thousand years old, not millions of years.


Wieland, Carl. 2005. Still soft and stretchy.


  1. The reports of the soft tissue, though remarkable, have been sensationalized further. The tissues were not soft and pliable originally. The tissues were rehydrated in the process of removing the surrounding mineral components of the bone (Schweitzer et al. 2005). Moreover, it is unknown whether the soft tissues are original tissues. Fossil flexible tissues and nucleated cells have been found before in which the original material was not preserved (Stokstad 2005).

  2. The age of fossils is not determined by how well they are preserved, because preservation depends far more on factors other than age. The age of this particular bone was determined from the age of the rocks it was found in, namely, the Hell Creek Formation. This formation has been reliably dated by several independent methods (Dalrymple 2000).

  3. DNA has never been recovered from any dinosaurs nor from anything as old as them, and researchers do not expect to find DNA from these soft tissues (though they can still hope). DNA has been recovered, however, from samples much more than 10,000 years old (Poinar et al. 1998), even more than 300,000 years old (Stokstad 2003; Willerslev et al. 2003). If dinosaur fossils were as young as creationists claim, finding soft tissues in them would not be news, and recovering DNA from them should be easy enough that it would have been done by now.


Hurd, Gary S. 2005. Dino-blood redux.


  1. Dalrymple, G. Brent. 2000. Radiometeric dating does work! Reports of the National Center for Science Education 20(3): 14-19.
  2. Poinar, Hendrik N. 1998. Molecular coproscopy: Dung and diet of the extinct ground sloth Nothrotheriops shastensis. Science 281: 402-406.
  3. Schweitzer, M. H., J. L. Wittmeyer, J. R. Horner, and J. K. Toporski. 2005. Soft-tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex. Science 307: 1952-1955.
  4. Stokstad, Erik. 2003. Ancient DNA pulled from soil. Science 300: 407.
  5. Stokstad, Erik. 2005. Tyrannosaurus rex soft tissue raises tantalizing prospects. Science 307: 1852.
  6. Willerslev, E. et al. 2003. Diverse plant and animal genetic records from Holocene and Pleistocene sediments. Science 300: 791-795.

Further Reading:

Skulan, Joe. 2005. Non-mineralized tissues in fossil T rex. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 25(5-6): 35-39.
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created 2005-4-22, modified 2006-6-28