Dinosaur Dance Floor

28 Apr 2021

Robert sent in several links concerning Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil remains. The first one is an article in Science journal, 372 page 284-287 [2021] April 16th. It seems T Rex is short on the number of fossils found by paleontologists, by a considerable degree. Of course, it is assumed fossilisation takes place all the time - in a uniformitarian world that ignores the role of catastrophism. The projection there was around 2.5 billion T Rex that existed is based solely on a uniformitarian time line - but that is not to say there were not that many. If fossilisation is a result of catastrophism the actual number of T Rex that once lived is unknowable. The number of fossils would thus be only relevant to the number, or manner of natural catastrophes, big or small.

The main link is https://arkansasresearch.uark.edu/fearsome-tyrannosaurs-were-social-anim... ... and like the link above, the research comes from the University of Arkansas. It claims Tyrannosaurs were social animals, on what appears to be some remarkably threadbare evidence. However, there is no reason why T Rex was a social animal, in the sense of a pride of lions or a pack of wolves. Several T Rex attacking a herd of big browsers would have been more successful than a lone predator, no matter how fearsome a single T Rex might have been. The big question however is did they find evidence to support the findings. It depends on how sceptical one might be I suppose - or how committed one might be to a contrary view. One of the sites on which the study was based is in Utah and contains the remains of several T Rex, possibly four or five individuals. The fossil bed also included the remains of a lot of other animals - including turtles and fish. The animals  may all have died together, heaped up by a great tidal wave and buried in sediment. The site is still being investigated so the final word is far from over. The interpretation put forward by the researchers is that a local seasonal flood event led to the animals becoming preserved beneath a lake [to account for the watery demise] but somewhat later, millions of years later in fact, a river cut its way through the sedimentary layer, and dislodged some of the fossils, in what was a second flooding event. The secondary dispersal of some of the bone bed is an interesting add on to the story but the first drowning of these big beasts, with height and very large rear limbs, runs counter to the idea of a seasonal flood plain demise - although not impossible of course. Simply, not very likely. However, the researchers are working in the confines of a uniformitarian consensus view of fossilisation and really have no choice but to follow the mainstream angle. One might think a different scenario is also possible, a huge tidal wave sweeping up from the ocean, overwhelming animals of various kinds, including the formidable T Rex, and burying them instantly in a matrix of mud and silt [a sedimentary layer]. This might be further supported by the nature of some of the fossils, which included seven species of turtle and numerous fish species as well as other dinosaurs. A pride of T Rex could indeed have been overwhelmed, unable to escape the violence of the big wave. One might also make a link with the asteroid strike in the Gulf of Mexico at the K/T [Pg] boundary. One might suspect it unleashed a tidal wave. This is of course all bound up with the dating of the Inland Western Ocean - known from a succession of fossil beds across the Great Plains, and nearby. In uniformitarian terms this took place over millions of years as the sediments are thus dated on the geochronology chart. However, a tidal wave lays down an instantaneous layer of sediment which  means much of the sedments laid down around the K/Pg boundary event are an anomaly that requires rethinking. To what degreee is down to geological research - but it does mean we can answer the first link in that an unknowable amount of time existed between this one catastrophe and those that preceded it - and followed it. There is no need to concertina the time scale, one might argue. Life has to evolve between one event and the next. However, Robert also provides another link, this time to the Creationist view at https://crev.info/2021/04/mass-burial-of-tyrannosaurs-misinterpreted/ ... which is of course the view of the author. One cannot help but think he might have hit the nail on the head with the headline - but not necessarily with his own version of events. The Flood of Noah lurks deeply in the background - and a significant reduction in time. One can for instance point at the inland sea which seems to have carved out a flat zone now occupied by the Great Plains, which doesn't sound much like a universal flooding of the whole earth. Why was a strip of land running down the centre of North America carved out by a channel of water and either side of it remained lumpy and the opposite of a watery origin. A flood event would have left more of a uniform geology, right across the continent. It did not. Why is a universal flood event so important to Creationists? There are numerous local flood legends, and a lot of them occurred during the human era, even a few thousand years ago - yet they in no way resemble Noah's Flood. The ark is a phenomenon of the sky - not the earth. The key to Noah's flood lies in what humans saw above them rather than water that overwhelmed them. The close approach of a cosmic body, such as a comet, would cause massive evaporation from the oceans, and later, days of endless rain that led to ground that was waterlogged and boggy for weeks. There are many interpretations of the Ark and Noah and the Flood and concentrating on a single version obscures what might have been going on. Interestingly, the author at this link also comments on the first link, the Science article on the possible numbers of T Rex that may have existed.

In another story with a title that caught my fancy, we have the 'dance floor' of dinosaurs - and instead of a bone bed, we have a sedimentary layer with numerous tracks of dinosaurs, preserved in a wonderful state of preservation - see https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2021/04/dinosaur-dance-floor... ... and the site is in China. The dance floor is 100 square metres and has 200 dinosaur footprints within it. Even more spectacular is that extended to 1600 square metres there are over 600 footprints. So - what was going on. The ground had to be soft in order for the indentations to be made and at the same time had to be fossilised by burial very quickly in order to preserve them. One can visualise another catastrophic cause for the phenomenon although dinosaur tracks are found all over the world, even in the UK. However, this one is unique in that there are so many in a small enclosed space. Something odd was going on. Indeed, they may have been dancing if the ground was heaving from seismic forces, or had become very soft with upwelling ground water etc. An intriguing site that will be looked at again and again, no doubt.