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Bird Footprints Surprise

9 December 2023
Biology, Geology

Willaim sent in the link https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/archaeologists-found-ancient-bird-footprints-205000523.html …. geologists find ancient bird footprints that are 60 million years too early. That is the headline. The footprints are 210 million years old and appear to come from the Triassic/Jurassic boundary event. In other words we have a puzzle that is all down to uniformitarian geochronology. If geology is mainly laid down during catastrophic events, both big and small, and then most of the Jurassic would be devoid of fossils. In the case of footprints left in rock layers. one has to ask, just how quickly was the mud or sand turned into rock, and how long did it take for the footprints to be buried – and sometimes on multiple occasions at the very same site. Instantly, we might imagine. How else could they be preserved.

The footprints come from Lesotho in southern Africa. They have been dated by another set of footprints found with them. That of a dinosaur, Trisauropodiscus, a three toed animal with distinctive footprints. These dinosaurs are preserved, elsewhere, in rocks dating to the Triassic/Jurassic boundary event. Therefore, the bird like footprints must be of the  same date. One way to look at it I suppose. The same dinosaur is a common  find across Africa – so its presence is not unexpected. However, both animal types could have been common to both the Triassic and Jurassic periods. We only know about the ones that have been preserved in rock formations. In other words, during catastrophic events that range from asteroids and meteor strikes to earthquakes and mundane freak flash flood events. There is an extremely small amount of time in order to preserve footprints – as far as quick burial is concerned. I dare say somebody with skin in the game could make mincemeat out of the idea of a catastrophic laying down – and equally by showing how unlikely footprints could be preserved in a gradualist manner.

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