Fossil Ink now in our museum


Recently we obtained a beautifully preserved fossil squid with ink fossil_ink1still in its ink sac. So we ran a test using ammonia to extract the ink and to see if we could still write with it. The answer is a big yes and you can see the results above – we even got a feather pen and wrote the word INK as proof. Several conclusions are possible: 1) the squid was buried quickly so all body parts are intact; 2) it had to be buried before the ink sac could be fully expelled which is what usually happens when a squid is frightened and; 3) the body had to be preserved without degradation so that the ink sac, did not collapse and disintegrate. Which fourthly means that overall it was buried quickly, deeply, and in the absence of bugs, air etc and hence beautifully preserved. Of course if you want to believe that the ink has stayed intact for the past hundred plus million years (which modern evolutionist dating would suggest), then all the best to you. The presence of usable ink in the ink sac would suggest this is simply nonsense. And yes we wanted to be original so we went down to the chicken pen this morning and extracted a feather to make the pen with so it had no track record of exposure to any ink compound prior to the squid.

No we are not the first to do this. We wrote about it in Evidence News 2 years ago and for the record’s sake we include that original item below. Thanks to those whose financial support enables us to extract fossils both with our own labour and from those who can supply them to us for research and for our Jurassic Ark Outdoor Creation Museum. To help more donate HERE.


From Evidence News, 2 September 2009.

WRITING WITH JURASSIC INK, reported in BBC News and Times Online 19 Aug 2009. British palaeontologists have found the perfectly preserved squid and squid ink sac in Jurassic rocks in Wiltshire, England. The squid ink was solidified, but so well preserved the scientists were able to liquefy it using an ammonia solution and use it to draw a picture of the squid and write its name: Belemnotheutis antiques . The excavation was led by Phil Wilby of the British Geological Survey, who described the fossil: “It’s among the world’s best fossil preservation. It’s a squid-like creature, but it’s not like anything we have in the world today. You really don’t imagine anything so soft could be so well preserved three dimensionally. It still looks as if it is modern squid ink. It’s absolutely incredible to find something like this. We felt that drawing the animal with it would be the ultimate self-portrait.”

The squid was found among numerous other extremely well preserved soft bodied animals. Wilby explained: “About 155 million years ago, millions of these animals were dying in this precise area. We don’t know why that is. In normal circumstances, the decomposition process means only the hard parts of animal are preserved, such as the bones, shell and teeth. The odds of this find are easily a billion to one and probably much greater. We call it the Medusa effect: specimens turn to stone within a matter of days, before the soft parts can be eaten away. I hope the discovery will help us better understand why things are fossilised in this way - what it is about the area that allows it to happen so quickly. Throughout the world there are perhaps a few dozen examples of soft parts being preserved, but this is really special. I can dissect them as if they are living animals. You can even tell whether it was a fast or slow swimmer, by looking at all the muscle fibres.”

ED. COM. It is good to see scientists admitting such fine preservation could only happen if a creature was rapidly fossilised before any degradation of tissue structure took place. The fact that it was found buried with large numbers of similarly preserved soft bodied creatures, indicates it was victim of a catastrophic upheaval which caught many sea creatures, mixed them with sediment and quickly dumped and buried them.

Given the known shelf life for inks, it is most unlikely that the fossil squid ink inside the sac could simply be liquefied in ammonia if it really was 155 million years old. The fresh state of this ink points to a much more recent burial than that. This fossil fits better into the Biblical catastrophic history of the world, rather than the slow gradual evolution of life mixed with long slow fossilisation stories repeated in high school textbooks. (Ref. fossilisation, invertebrates, molluscs)