Researchers shined a laser light on fossil leaves and found some surprising results. Instead of mere impressions of leaves, the fossils turned out to contain original molecules—persisting after millions of supposed years.
Research led by Lund University in Sweden used FTIR to find original molecular bonds still intact inside fossilized leaf wax. The technique detects stretches in specific chemical bonds.
Then the team compared the waxy cuticle that somehow persists in leaf fossils with the same cuticle molecules found in their living counterparts. Many of the scan results showed a match, even after all the years those fossils remained underground. The team published their results in Nature: Ecology & Evolution.1
They scanned leaves from living Araucaria trees—tropical conifers that today grow in New Guinea, Australia, and Argentina—and from fossil Araucaria leaves locked in Cretaceous stone.
*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.