The Fossil Record & “Transitional Forms”
See our four videos below on the fossil record, Noah’s Flood, and the dinosaurs.
Natural history museums have some of the most amazing fossil collections in the world. These fossils are typically used to frame the idea of life slowly progressing over millions of years, rather than a worldwide catastrophe being the best explanation for the majority of the fossil record.
Are the fossils really stacked in a way that proves life evolved on Earth over millions of unseen years? Or, does the fossil record provide evidence that the world was covered by a massive Flood in Noah’s time just thousands of years ago? Actually, the fossil record does not show increasingly complex life emerging over the millennia. What it shows is a record of death in the order that the creatures were buried during the worldwide flood.
Think about it for a minute—Genesis 7 verse 11 says that the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened, creating floods and tidal waves that were unimaginable. The Bible says the flood waters increased upon the Earth for 150 days until all the high hills under heaven were covered with over 20 feet of water. This process successively buried all creatures outside the Ark based on where they lived as the Flood waters prevailed, how smart they were, their means and speed of mobility, and their body density. This is precisely why the fossil record generally shows the shallow-water marine creatures buried in the lower layers. Then, as the ocean waters rose higher and higher the suffocated fish were buried, followed by amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and then birds.
President of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, has become well-known for making this statement: “If there really was a Global Flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water all over the Earth.” This is exactly what we see.
For example, the Paleobiology Database is a free, searchable database that is designed to “provide global, collection-based occurrence and taxonomic data for organisms of all geological ages.”[i] This database includes 183,739 fossil collections totaling 1,323,009 occurrences (with each “occurrence” ranging from a few fossils to numerous). From a Biblical Creation standpoint, the Genesis Flood deposited the vast majority of these fossils, and the chapters that follow explain the mechanics behind how it happened. Each of the circle dots in Figure 42 shows the extent of the known fossil record.
Figure 42. Paleobiology Database[ii]
If the untestable assumptions that hold up the ideas of radiometric dating are not true (and we believe they are not[iii]), then Figure 42 displays a massive, watery graveyard, most of which was filled during the year-long Genesis Flood.
Even Charles Darwin said, “… as by evolution theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the Earth?” and “Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory?” Darwin expected that these challenges would be resolved after more research was conducted. But today, 150 years and millions of fossils later, the proof still doesn’t exist.
When the famous Dr. Colin Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History was asked why evolutionary transitions were not included in his book titled, “Evolution” Patterson said: “I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them… You say that I should at least show a photo of the fossil from which each type organism was derived.’ I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.” Wow—after working with thousands of fossils for over 16 years in one of the largest natural history museums in the world, he makes a statement like this!
With this “big picture” overview provided, next we’ll look into the dinosaur fossil record specifically, as well as a few of the leading supposed “transitional” fossils that are often displayed in museums to promote evolution.
Overview of the Dinosaur Fossil Record
The number of dinosaur “mass graves” around the world is astounding. These fossil graveyards contain a mixture of many different kinds of fossils that were transported by large volumes of water (see Figure 43). Modern, small-scale debris flows offer examples of what likely entrained, in some cases, millions of animals. Like a giant water wing, a debris flow carries its load largely undisturbed inside, as it rides upon a watery cushion either underwater or over land. As soon as the flow slows to a certain speed, turbulence overwhelms the load and it drops in place.
Figure 43. Dinosaur Fossil Graveyard Example.
Bone fossils typically occur as broken fragments. They were violently carried along with enormous amounts of mud and shifting sediments. By studying some of these fossil graveyards, we can gather clues that will demonstrate that the Flood was in fact catastrophic and worldwide, as stated in Genesis 7:20–23:
The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits [at least 22 feet]. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the Earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the Earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (emphasis added)
If this passage in Genesis is true, we would expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the Earth.[iv] This is exactly what we find all over the world, and dinosaurs fossils are an incredibly good example of this.
A profound example of a dinosaur graveyard is Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, which is only a part of the 700,000-square mile Morrison Formation, a geologic unit that has spawned excavations of more than a hundred dinosaur quarries.[v]
Figure 44. Aerial extent of the Morrison Formation.[vi]
What type of catastrophe could possibly bury hundreds of massive bone beds in this 700,000-square mile area? This region could quite possibly represent an enormous, ancient debris flow that only a worldwide watery catastrophe could explain.
When it comes to looking at the burial conditions of dinosaurs that were wiped out in the Flood, only about 3,000 of the dinosaur fossils are found in “articulated”[vii] condition (with most of the bones still in place). Because fossils representing over 100,000 dinosaurs have been found, this represents only about 3% of the dinosaur fossil record.[viii] So these animals did not die peacefully. Whatever wiped them out was sudden and violent.
Another characteristic about dinosaur bonebeds is the evidence that they were quickly buried in mud. The very fact that we have so many preserved dinosaur fossils shows that they were buried quickly because fossilization requires rapid burial in muddy ground. The fossil record is full of dinosaurs that suddenly died in watery graves around the world, with many of them found in the famous “death pose” with their necks arched back, as if drowning in mud and carried along by a mudflow.[ix]
Figure 45. Dinosaurs in the Common “Death Pose,” Indicating Rapid Burial and Suffocation (Royal Tyrrell Museum, Author).
Yet another clue that the dinosaurs were wiped out catastrophically is the fact that so many are found buried simultaneously, fleeing in groups. For example, Figure 46 plots both the sauropod and triceratops dinosaur fossils that have been found in the Midwestern United States. Isn’t it interesting that these totally different dinosaur types were simultaneously wiped out and buried in the same areas? Something stopped these two very large dinosaur types dead in their tracks and buried them in mud, preserving their fossils for us to find today.
Figure 46. Sauropod and Triceratops Graveyards.[x]
Sauropods and Triceratops are some of the largest dinosaurs to ever live. What type of event would it take to bury these massive creatures in mud so quickly that they would be disarticulated and preserved for us to find today—locked in mud that hardened into rock before getting scavenged? Slow, gradually rising creeks or rivers? A sudden worldwide Flood fits the evidence much better.
Let’s drill down and take a look at one of the largest mass dinosaur graves in the world found at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada. In just this one area, over 32,000 fossil specimens have been found, representing 35 species, 34 genera, and 12 families of dinosaurs. Astonishingly, dinosaur fossils intermingle with fish, turtles, marsupial and other mammals, and amphibians. Also, only 300 complete animals have been found! The large majority were scrambled, pulverized, and blended together, as if the world became an enormous washing machine.
There are 14 mega bone beds at this location that collectively contain thousands of buried Centrosaurus found in the same stratigraphic column (a term used in geology to describe the vertical sequence of rocks in a particular area). The authors who completed the most extensive study of the area described the sediment in which these dinosaurs are buried as “mudstone rich in organic matter deposited on the tract of land separating two ancient rivers.”[xi] They also concluded that each of the 14 bone beds was actually part of a single, massive “mega-bone bed” that occupied 2.3 square kilometers—almost a square mile! Stop and think about this for a minute. How did thousands of dinosaurs—of the same species—get herded up and simultaneously buried in mud?
These authors even concluded that the massive bone beds were formed when a herd of Centrosaurus drowned during a flood. These bone beds are also found with aquatic vertebrates such as fish, turtles, and crocodiles, showing that water was definitely involved in their transport and burial. In addition, almost no teeth marks indicated little scavenging after these animals died, probably because most of them died at the same time.[xii]
While visiting this location, one outdoor display caught my daughter’s eye. It was a large hadrosaur, a “duck-bill” dinosaur, that they left in the ground, exactly as it was found, covered with mud and twisted around like it went through a blender before it was buried. A young boy pushed a button to play the audio explanation provided by the museum that described the evolutionary idea about how the animal died. They explained that a large tropical storm caused the rivers to rise and the dinosaurs to drown—one after the other—as each blindly followed the other to their death (thousands of them).[xiii]
This is when my daughter had her epiphany: “You’ve got to be kidding me!” she exclaimed. “Look at all these dead dinosaurs—they’re everywhere! And they’re buried in countless tons of sediment—how’s a local rainstorm going to do that? Noah’s Flood is a much better explanation!” She’s onto something. If rainstorms explain this, then why don’t they deposit and fossilize even smaller creatures today? This 2.3 square kilometer dinosaur graveyard was massive—how much mudflow did the Flood have to bring onto land to bury over 10,000 Centrosaurus?[xiv]
Other dinosaur mass gravesites exist around the world. An online article on Discovery.com describes a dinosaur graveyard in China as the largest in the world, writing, “Researchers say they can’t understand why so many animals gathered in what is today the city of Zhucheng to die.” Thousands of dinosaur bones stack on top of each other in “incredible density,” then they “suddenly vanished from the face of the Earth.”[xv] Most of the bones are found within a single 980-foot-long ravine in the Chinese countryside, about 415 miles southeast of Beijing. Clearly, processes were going on in the past that were so violent they are hardly imaginable.
A dinosaur mass grave in Montana unveils yet more evidence for rapid burial during Noah’s Flood. In his article titled, “The Extinction of the Dinosaurs,” Creation researcher and Michael Oard describes some of the numerous dinosaur graveyards that are found all over the world.[xvi] He believes this is solid evidence of Noah’s worldwide Flood. Oard reported that one of the largest bone beds in the world is located in north-central Montana:
Based on outcrops, an extrapolated estimate was made for 10,000 duckbill dinosaurs entombed in a thin layer measuring 2 km east-west and 0.5 km north-south. The bones are disarticulated and disassociated, and are orientated east-west. However, a few bones were standing upright, indicating some type of debris flow. Moreover, there are no young juveniles or babies in this bone-bed, and the bones are all from one species of dinosaur.
Oard concluded that a cataclysmic event is the best explanation for the arrangement of the bones. Two leading secular scientists, Horner and Gorman, also described the bone bed: “How could any mud slide, no matter how catastrophic, have the force to take a two- or three-ton animal that had just died and smash it around so much that its femur—still embedded in the flesh of its thigh—split lengthwise?”[xvii]
Figure 47 shows the text from books or articles about the particular fossil graveyard shown. Isn’t it incredible that everyone admits that some type of watery catastrophe was responsible for piling up the dinosaurs into these mass graves?
Figure 47. Dinosaur Graveyards in Midwestern U.S. with “Flood Catastrophe” Explanations from Secular Sources.[xviii]
Dinosaur Soft Tissue
Some would argue that the case for Biblical Creation would grow stronger if a living dinosaur was found in an unexplored swamp in the Congo. In actuality, however, what scientists have found over the last 20 years regarding soft tissue is even more convincing than discovering a living dinosaur.
You see, if someone found a living dinosaur somewhere, it would be easy for evolutionists to explain away—holding that evolution was on “idle” for eons. They’ve already done this many times when so-called “living fossils” are found, such as the coelacanth that someone hauled up in a fishing net off Madagascar in 1938. Before they found it alive, coelacanths were considered a key “missing link” between fish and amphibians, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs and beyond.[xix]
So the reason that the discovery of dinosaur biomolecules, cells, and tissues is even better than finding a living dinosaur is that the laws of chemistry hold evolutionists accountable for claiming either that thermodynamics—the process by which tissues break down—were idle for eons or, even more far out, that the bio-organic materials are not even there. Knowing these bio-organic materials were present when they were living, and still having them now, provides undeniable evidence for Noah’s Flood staring the world in the face.
This is why the recent discovery of 14 short-lived dinosaur biomaterials that remain in dinosaur bones and other body parts like skin and horns is so important. Decay experiments have placed outer limits on how long they should last before completely decaying. For each of these materials, their “expiration date” is well before 65 million years, which is when dinosaurs supposedly went extinct. So, rather than being 65 million years old, these materials are just thousands of years old. The science of protein decay fits the Bible’s timeline of dinosaurs recently buried in Noah’s Flood.
Secular scientists have published each of these dinosaur-era fresh biomaterials in peer-reviewed, evolution-based science journals. One of most frequently used “rescuing devices” that’s given by evolutionists to try to explain some of these findings is “bacterial contamination.” However, microbes do not produce any of the biomaterials covered below, ruling out recent contamination.
Many dinosaur bones are even found un-fossilized in places like Madagascar, Alaska, and Montana (see the section below titled, “Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #7: Unmineralized Bone”). Even the founder of the largest dinosaur museum in the world admitted that “…usually most of the original bone is still present in a dinosaur fossil.”[xx] Sadly, most students who attend public schools today develop the opinion that dinosaur bones are just rock impressions of bones. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #1: Blood Vessels
Blood vessels transport blood throughout the body. They include the tiny capillaries, through which water and chemicals pass between blood and the tissue. Bones include capillaries and larger vessels. Small, pancake-shaped cells loaded with long-lasting collagen protein comprise blood vessels.
The blood vessels shown in Figure 48 were discovered when Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s team was attempting to move a gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex fossil by helicopter that turned out to be too heavy. They were forced to break apart the leg bone. When looking at the inside of the leg bone at the lab, they discovered that the inside of the bone was partially hollow (not mineralized), revealing the soft tissue shown in Figure 48 that was extracted after treatments to remove the minerals.[xxi]
Figure 48. Tissue Fragments from a T. rex Femur.[xxii]
The tissues that are shown on the left of Figure 48 show that it is flexible and resilient. When stretched, it returned to its original shape. The middle photo shows the bone after it was air dried. The photo at right shows regions of bone showing fibrous tissue, not normally seen in fossil bone.
Since this publication in 2005, blood vessels from several other dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles have been described and published in numerous leading scientific journals, including the Annals of Anatomy, Science (the leading journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Public Library of Sciences ONE, and the Proceedings from the Royal Society B, which focuses on the biological sciences.[xxiii]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #2: Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells carry oxygen and collect carbon dioxide using hemoglobin protein—also found in dinosaur and other fossils. Dr. Mary Schweitzer was one of the first to discover and publish the discovery of red blood cells, which she shares in her own words: “The lab filled with murmurs of amazement, for I had focused on something inside the vessels that none of us had ever noticed before: tiny round objects, translucent red with a dark center. Then a colleague took one look at them and shouted, ‘You’ve got red blood cells. You’ve got red blood cells!”’[xxiv]
Figure 49. Blood Vessels and Red Blood Cells from a T. rex Bone.[xxv]
These two photos in Figure 49 are from a 2005 discovery from Dr. Schweitzer that clearly show blood vessels from a T. rex bone (left) and red blood cells (right). How could these cells last for 65 million years? At least five peer-reviewed scientific journals have published accounts of red blood cells in dinosaur and other fossil bones.[xxvi]
Regarding this discovery, Dr. Schweitzer remarked, “If you take a blood sample, and you stick it on a shelf, you have nothing recognizable in about a week. So why would there be anything left in dinosaurs?”[xxvii] That’s certainly a good question, and one that has an easier answer if dinosaur fossils are only thousands of years old!
After this discovery, Dr. Schweitzer ran into challenges when trying to publish her work in the scientific literature. Dr. Schweitzer remarks, “I had one reviewer tell me that he didn’t care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn’t possible.” Dr. Schweitzer wrote him back and asked, “Well, what type of data would convince you.” The reviewer replied, “None.”
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #3: Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin protein contains iron and transports oxygen in red blood cells of most vertebrates. Some invertebrates, including certain insects and some worms, also use hemoglobin. In vertebrates, this amazing protein picks up oxygen from lungs or gills and carries it to the rest of the body’s cells. There, oxygen fuels aerobic respiration by which cells produce energy.
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #4: Bone Cells (Osteocytes)
Secular scientists have described dinosaur proteins like hemoglobin, even though no experimental evidence supports the possibility that they can last for even a million years. But dinosaur bones hold more than just individual proteins. They sometimes retain whole cells and tissue remnants. An osteocyte is a bone cell that can live as long as the organism itself. Osteocytes constantly rebuild bones and regulate bone mass. Figure 50 shows highly magnified blood vessels, blood products, and osteocytes that were found on the inside of a brow horn of a Triceratops.
Figure 50. Soft Bone Material from a Brow Horn of a Triceratops horridus from Montana.[xxx]
Figure 50 shows blood vessels linked together (white arrows in frame 14). Frame 15 shows possible blood products lining inner wall of hardened vessel (white arrow). Frame 16 is enlarged from frame 15 and shows crystallized nature of possible blood products lining inner wall of hardened vessel. Frame 17 shows two large oblate osteocytes lying on fibrillar bone matrix.
At least four scientific studies have established osteocytes in dinosaur bones. One study even found nucleic acid signatures consistent with ancient DNA right where the nucleus would have been in dinosaur osteocytes.[xxxi]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #5: Ovalbumin (Proteins)
Another protein found in fossils that microbes don’t make is called ovalbumin. It makes up 60–65% of the total protein in egg whites. Ovalbumin has been found in exceptionally preserved sauropod eggs discovered in Patagonia, Argentina, a dig site that included skeletal remains and soft tissues of embryonic titanosaurid dinosaurs. These findings were reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.[xxxii]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #6: Chitin
Chitin is a biochemical found in squid beaks and pens, arthropod exoskeletons, and certain fungi. If chitin was meant to last for millions of years, then it might have filled Earth’s surface as dead insects, krill, and fungi left their remains over eons. Chitin is tough, but no known experiment supplies any reason to so much as suspect that it could last a million years, let alone hundreds of millions. Yet, at least two scientific studies report finding it in fossils.[xxxiii] Our Creator equipped many microbes with unique enzymes that digest chitin, so what could have kept those microbes away from all that chitin for millions of years?
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #7: Unmineralized Bone
Fresh-looking, un-mineralized dinosaur bones pop up in dig sites around the world. In Alaska, for example, a petroleum geologist working for Shell Oil Company discovered well-preserved bones in Alaska along the Colville River. The bones looked so fresh that he assumed these were recently deposited, perhaps belonging to a mammoth or bison. Twenty years later scientists recognized them as Edmontosaurus bones—a duck-billed dinosaur.[xxxiv]
Figure 51. Unfossilized Hadrosaur Bone from the Liscomb Bone Bed.[xxxv]
Mineralized bones can look darker than bone and typically feel quite heavy. Un-mineralized bones retain their original structure, often including the tiny pore spaces in spongy bone, as shown in Figure 51. One study includes an interesting section that states:
Finally, a two-part mechanism, involving first cross-linking of molecular components and subsequent mineralization, is proposed to explain the surprising presence of still-soft elements in fossil bone. These results suggest that present models of fossilization processes may be incomplete and that soft tissue elements may be more commonly preserved, even in older specimens, than previously thought.[xxxvi] Additionally, in many cases, osteocytes with defined nuclei are preserved, and may represent an important source for informative molecular data (emphasis added).
Numerous other studies published in scientific journals have described these un-mineralized dinosaur bone findings.[xxxvii] Sometimes evolutionists are surprised by the fact that many dinosaur bones contain “fresh,” original bone. It seems that decades of conditioning that “dinosaur bones become solid rocks” and ideas of “millions of years” have framed assumptions that are frequently being broken today.
However, researchers out in the field—actually digging up bones—oftentimes have a different viewpoint. Take Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s testimony for example, where she notes that many “fresh” dinosaur bones still have the stench of death:
This shifting perspective clicked with Schweitzer’s intuitions that dinosaur remains were more than chunks of stone. Once, when she was working with a T. rex skeleton harvested from Hell Creek, she noticed that the fossil exuded a distinctly organic odor. “It smelled just like one of the cadavers we had in the lab who had been treated with chemotherapy before he died,” she says. Given the conventional wisdom that such fossils were made up entirely of minerals, Schweitzer was anxious when mentioning this to Horner [a leading paleontologist]. “But he said, ‘Oh, yeah, all Hell Creek bones smell,’” she says. To most old-line paleontologists, the smell of death didn’t even register. To Schweitzer, it meant that traces of life might still cling to those bones.[xxxviii]
Experienced dinosaur fossil collectors have developed similar opinions. Take experienced dinosaur hunter and wholesaler, Alan Stout, for example. Alan Stout is a long-time fossil collector and has collected and sold millions of dollars’ worth of dinosaur specimens to collectors, researchers, and museums worldwide.[xxxix] After collecting in Montana’s Hell Creek formation (and surrounding areas) for over a decade, Alan states that many of the dinosaur bones he finds in the Cretaceous layers are only 40% mineralized, with as much as 60% of the bone being original material. He even notes that some of the fossils “look just like they were buried yesterday after scraping off just the outside layer of mineralization.”[xl]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #8: Collagen
Collagen is the main structural protein found in animal connective tissue. When boiled, collagen turns into gelatin, showing its sensitivity to temperature. In 2007, scientists discovered collagen amino acid sequences from a T. rex fossil that supposedly dated at 68 million years. Met with controversy, some suggested these proteins came from lab workers who accidentally contaminated the samples being studied. Or perhaps traces of ostrich bone proteins lingered in the equipment used in the study. Some even said, well perhaps “a bird died on top of the T. rex excavation site.”[xli] However, three separate labs verified collagen in dinosaurs in 2009[xlii] and again in January 2017.[xliii] The 2017 study even confirmed the collagen at the molecular level, and stated, “We are confident that the results we obtained are not contamination and that this collagen is original to the specimen.”[xliv]
Figure 52. Fibers and Cellular Structures in Dinosaur Specimens.[xlv]
Experiments have projected that the absolute theoretical maximum life of collagen ranges from 300,000 to 900,000 years under the best possible conditions.[xlvi] This shows that collagen proteins should not last one million years, but could (in the absence of microbes) last for thousands of years. This confronts millions-of-years age assignments for dinosaur remains, but is consistent with the biblical time frame of thousands of years.
However, the rescuing devices being offered by evolutionists are not far behind. For example, in a recent article published in Science, Dr. Schweitzer tried to explain how the collagen sequences supposedly survived tens of millions of years: “… as red blood cells decay after an animal dies, iron liberated from their hemoglobin may react with nearby proteins, linking them together. This crosslinking, she says, causes proteins to precipitate out of solution, drying them out in a way that helps preserve them.” Critical of this idea, however, Dr. Matthew Collins, a paleoproteomics expert at the University of York in the United Kingdom, stated that he doesn’t think that the process described by Dr. Schweitzer could “arrest protein degradation for tens of millions of years, so he, for one, remains skeptical of Schweitzer’s claim: ‘Proteins decay in an orderly fashion. We can slow it down, but not by a lot.’”[xlvii]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #9: DNA (Limited)
One measured decay rate of DNA, extracted from recently deposited fossil bird bones, showed a half-life of 521 years. DNA decays quickly. It should have spontaneously decayed into smaller chemicals after several tens of thousands of years—and it could only last that long if kept cool. A few brave secular scientists have reported DNA structures from dinosaur bones, although they did not directly address the question of its age.[xlviii]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #10: Skin Pigments
In 2008, a group of paleontologists found exceptionally well-preserved Psittacosaurus remains in China and published images of dinosaur collagen fiber bundles. Other scientists published stunning skin color images from a separate Psittacosaurus, also from China, and found evidence of original, unaltered pigments including carotenoids and melanins. Nobody has performed an experiment that so much as suggests these pigments could last a million years. Still other studies have reported scale skin and hemoglobin decay products—still colored red, as were some of Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s T. rex and hadrosaurine samples—in a Kansas mosasaur.[xlix]
The latest findings continue to confirm the recent demise of most of the dinosaurs by a massive Flood. Consider this 3,000-pound nodosaur fossil just found in Canada shown in Figure 53. Evolutionists date this fossil at 110 million years old. But how did everything stay intact for so long? Skin pigment, guts, scales, full boney armor, keratin—even its last meal was found in its stomach! Paleobiologist Jakob Vinther said, “The dinosaur is so well preserved that it ‘might have been walking around a couple of weeks ago, I’ve never seen anything like this.”[l] Rather than being scavenged after death, this dinosaur was rapidly entombed by Noah’s Flood just thousands of years ago.
Figure 53. Nodosaur Fossil with Fossilized Skin.[li]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #11: PHEX (Proteins)
PHEX is a protein involved in bone mineralization in mammals. In 2013, Dr. Mary Schweitzer published detailed findings of the soft, transparent microstructures her team found in dinosaur bones. Because this discovery was so controversial, her team used advanced mass spectrometry techniques to confirm the findings. Other methods demonstrated that proteins such as actin, tubulin, and PHEX found in osteocytes from two different dinosaurs were not from some form of contamination but came from the creatures’ remains.[lii]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #12: Histone H4 (Proteins)
Bacteria do not make histone H4, but animals do. DNA wraps around it like a spool. Dr. Mary Schweitzer and her team found this protein inside a hadrosaur femur found in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, which bears an assigned age of 67 million years. It might last for thousands of years if kept sterile, but no evidence so much as hints that it could last for a million years.[liii]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #13: Keratin (Structural Protein)
Keratin forms the main structural constituent of hair, feathers, hooves, claws, and horns. Some modern lizard skins contain tiny disks of keratin embedded in their scales. Researchers identified keratin protein in fossilized lizard skin scales from the Green River Formation that supposedly date to 50 million years ago. They explained its presence with a story about clay minerals attaching to the keratin to hold it in place for all that time. However, water would have to deposit the clay, and water helps rapidly degrade keratin. The most scientifically responsible explanation should be the simplest one—that this fossil is thousands, not millions, of years old.[liv] Other fossils with original keratin include Archaeopteryx[lv] bird feather residue and stegosaur spikes.[lvi]
Fresh Dinosaur Biomaterial #14: Elastin
Elastin is a highly elastic protein found in connective tissue, skin, and bones. It helps body parts resume their shape after stretching or contracting, like when skin gets poked or pinched. Bacteria don’t need it or make it, and elastin should not last a million years, even in the best preservation environment. Scientists reported finding this protein in a hadrosaur femur found in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana.[lvii]
Because these findings are game changers, they are not without challenge by those who hold strongly to evolutionary ideas. Some of the rescuing devices that have been offered to attempt to explain these findings include iron in the blood acting as a preservative, the material being mistaken from a bird carcass mixed with the fossil, laboratory contamination, and even microbial biofilm (from bacteria in the bones). These explanations show an eagerness to attempt to dismiss the findings while clinging to the belief in millions of years. Rather than questioning the supposed long ages needed to prop up the evolutionary view, they seek other explanations to explain the presence of these materials, desperately denying the obvious.
Figure 54. Dinosaur Biomaterials Time Comparison.
Figure 54 shows a simulated timeline to attempt to put these findings into perspective. Each of these 65 lines represents 1 million years. Showing 4,400 years on this chart is difficult, but is represented by a tiny dot in the upper left, which is 1/233rds of just one of these lines, or less than one-half of 1 percent of one of these lines. While this assumption can never be tested, some studies have measured an absolute theoretical maximum life of between 300,000 and 900,000 years.[lviii] If these dinosaur bones are really 65 million years old (and older), this collagen lasted for 72 to 217 times longer than these measured and extrapolated maximum collagen shelf lives. Does believing these materials could last that long require strong faith?
Is it really possible that all 14 of these biomaterials lasted for 65 million years? Or, were they recent deposits that were quickly sealed in Noah’s Flood only thousands of years ago? You can decide, but one thing stands for certain: Given the positions that scientists have held for decades on bio-organic decay rates, all 14 of the materials discussed above clearly and easily—without any academic caveats—fit the Genesis timeline just fine. But they don’t fit the 65 million-year timeline without severe academic torture.
In the words of paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer: “What really bothers people is: Why the heck is this stuff there…A lot of people aren’t willing to accept the data until we come up with a mechanism for preservation…We’re not there yet. All I can say is: Here’s what we see, here’s what we’ve done, and here’s our results.”[lix] Evidence abounds showing the extreme resistance of secular institutions accepting the implications of dinosaur soft tissue. An article in Discover magazine[lx] documented that Dr. Schweitzer “was having a hard time” trying to get her soft tissue dinosaur evidence published in scientific journals. Dr. Schweitzer stated, “I had one reviewer tell me that he didn’t care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn’t possible.” When Dr. Schweitzer wrote back asking, “Well, what data would convince you?” the reviewer stated, “None.” Professor Mark Armitage was actually fired from his position at a university after publishing the soft tissue results he found in Triceratops horn.[lxi]
The fact that many dinosaur fossils are not “just rocks,” but are actually still bones, should alone move most reasonable minds out of the “millions of years” framework. But the fact that evolutionists have somehow excluded the realities of biological decay from dinosaur bones is also actually quite telling from both scientific and theological perspectives (2 Peter 3 and Romans 1). Rather than accepting the obvious conclusion that the bones are only thousands of years old—not millions—many continue to work fiercely to find ways to stretch the dinosaur fossil record out millions of years beyond what the obvious evidence points to. Rather than shortening the timeline to fit the obvious conclusion suggested by the presence of the 14 bio-organic materials, many work feverishly to find ways to stretch the decay rates out to over 100 times longer than the present science shows they can last (as in the case with collagen, discussed above).
Does the Fossil Record Show Transitional Forms?
Dr. Carl Werner and his wife Debbie invested over 14 years of their lives investigating “the best museums and dig sites around the globe [and] photographing thousands of original fossils and the actual fossil layers where they were found.”[lxii] After visiting hundreds of museums and interviewing hundreds of paleontologists, scientists, and museum curators, Dr. Werner concluded: “Now, 150 years after Darwin wrote his book, this problem still persists. Overall, the fossil record is rich—200 million fossils in museums—but the predicted evolutionary ancestors are missing, seemingly contradicting evolution.”[lxiii] He continues with a series of examples:
- Museums have collected the fossil remains of 100,000 individual dinosaurs, but have not found a single direct ancestor for any dinosaur species.
- Approximately 200,000 fossil birds have been found, but ancestors of the oldest birds have yet to be discovered.
- The remains of 100,000 fossilized turtles have been collected by museums, yet the direct ancestors of turtles are missing.
- Nearly 1,000 flying reptiles (pterosaurs) have been collected, but no ancestors showing ground reptiles evolving into flying reptiles have been found.
- Over 1,000 fossil bats have been collected by museums, but no ancestors have been found showing a ground mammal slowly evolving into a flying mammal.
- Approximately 500,000 fossil fish have been collected, and 100,000,000 invertebrates have been collected, but ancestors for the theoretical first fish—a series of fossils showing an invertebrate changing into a fish—are unknown.
- Over 1,000 fossil sea lions have been collected, but not a single ancestor of sea lions has been found.
- Nearly 5,000 fossilized seals have been collected, but not a single ancestor has been found.
Dinosaur Fossil Transitions and Ancestors
While doing his research, Dr. Werner noted, “If evolution was not true, and if animals did not change over time, I should be able to find modern-appearing plants and modern-appearing animals in the dinosaur rock layers. And this is in fact what I found.” Dr. Werner has documented 432 mammal species in the dinosaur fossil layers. After visiting 60 museums around the world, he did not find a single complete mammal skeleton from the dinosaur layers displayed at any of these museums. Some mammals are even found in the stomachs of dinosaurs! These mammals are missing because they don’t fit the evolutionary story represented by most museums, where the “mammal” era follows after the “dinosaur” era. The fact is that hundreds of mammal species are found buried with dinosaurs.
Mixed in among dinosaurs Dr. Werner found “all of today’s reptile groups” as well as birds. How does this work if dinosaurs supposedly evolved into birds as evolutionists claim? Something’s not lining up with evolution theory! In fact, at least 120 bird species[lxiv] have been found buried alongside the dinosaurs, including numerous “modern” looking birds like loons, parrots, flamingos, cormorants, sandpipers, owls, penguins, avocets, ducks, and numerous waterfowl.[lxv] Dinosaur footprints have also been found right alongside bird footprints.[lxvi] The fact is that birds have existed alongside land creatures since the creation week.
Leading dinosaur expert Dr. Weishample wrote this about dinosaur ancestors: “From my reading of the fossil record of dinosaurs, no direct ancestors have been discovered for any dinosaur species. Alas, my list of dinosaurian ancestors is an empty one.”[lxvii] This sure seems to match the Bible’s account—God put them here, fully formed.
Consider pterosaurs—massive flying reptiles with wingspans sometimes over 40 feet that could possibly only fly in the pre-Flood world.[lxviii] Dr. Viohl, Curator of the Famous Jura Museum in Germany said, “We know only little about the evolution of pterosaurs. The ancestors are not known… When the pterosaurs first appear in the geologic record, they were completely perfect. They were perfect pterosaurs.”[lxix] After finding so many specimens in complete form, shouldn’t some predecessors have been found by now?
Figure 55 shows the widespread distribution of pterosaur fossils around the world. Isn’t it interesting that they are found everywhere? But that’s not the only thing—they’re found in every fossil layer from what evolutionists refer to as the Mesozoic Era (from the Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous, spanning from 228 to 66 million years ago in the evolutionary timeline). Is it possible that they are found in these different major rock units because—as flyers—they had the best chance of surviving the longest during the Flood to escape to safer areas as the Flood unfolded?
Figure 55. Pterosaur Fossil Distribution Map.[lxx]
If museums have over 1,000 fossilized pterosaurs, why haven’t they found any fossils that have been classified as “pre-pterosaurs”? Why are pterosaurs always found in complete form? Where are the transitional fossils that should exist if evolution theory is true?
Perhaps this explains why the evolutionary ideas about dinosaur ancestors keep changing—especially when they’ve now found dinosaurs even buried alongside their supposed ancestors.[lxxi] After Dr. Werner interviewed dozens of leading dinosaur experts from museums across the globe about dinosaur ancestors and transitions, he summarized his findings on this chart from the Chicago Field Museum.
Figure 56. Dinosaur “Transitions” [lxxii]
Note the counts of the different dinosaur varieties found—for example, the 78 T. rex specimens. Think about it—if over 100,000 dinosaurs have been collected by museums and dinosaurs evolved from one type into another as theorized on the chart, shouldn’t there be counts on the nodes of these supposed branches between dinosaur kinds? Instead, this chart just demonstrates what we would expect if creation is true: the counts of the individual types of creatures found, with zero transitions.
It’s also amazing when you look at the creatures on this chart that are supposedly evolving from the same branch, yet they are so obviously different—like Ankylosaurus and Triceratops. They’ve never found a single creature that looks anything like an earlier version of either of these dinosaurs, or one that looks like some hybrid of the two of them.
Figure 57. Ankylosaurus and Triceratops in the same evolutionary branch? If they both come from a supposed
common ancestor, where are all the millions of transitional design changes it would take to go from one to the other?
With hundreds of these creatures found in their existing form—and always found in these forms—it becomes clear that the evolution of dinosaurs is a far, far reach. If they both come from a supposed common ancestor, where are all the millions of transitional design changes it would take to go from one of these creatures to the other? Yet not a single such creature has ever been found.
The chart in Figure 58 was reproduced from The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs published in association with the British Museum of Natural History.[lxxiii] In small print at the bottom it says: “Tinted areas indicate solid fossil evidence.” We’ve highlighted these in yellow (lighter shade on the tops of most bars if you’re viewing this in black and white). The rest of the chart—shown in grey—shows the theoretical ideas about dinosaur ancestors and transitions in the dinosaur evolutionary tree. When the theoretical grey lines are removed (the imagined ancestors and transitions) all that remains are dinosaur “kinds” that were created in the beginning. Then, when the long ages are removed, you can see that these dinosaur kinds suddenly appeared together—by creation—on the sixth day of Creation Week. So much for dinosaur ancestors and transitions!
Figure 58. Dinosaur “Ancestors” and “Transitions.”[lxxiv]
Common Transitional Forms Promoted in Museums
Archaeopteryx used to be widely promoted by evolutionists as the prime example of an intermediate form or “missing link” candidate between reptiles and birds. However, even this “trophy” does not qualify as a transitional fossil since its socketed teeth, long bony tail, and wing-claws are all fully-formed structures of its alleged fossil representatives, showing no signs of partial evolutionary development.
Figure 59. Archaeopteryx[lxxv]
Archaeopteryx was originally discovered in 1861 and has since been widely used to promote evolutionary ideas. Alan Feduccia, a paleontologist who led studies in the origins of birds stated: “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an Earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.”[lxxvi]
Since making that statement, there has been a constant battle in the evolutionary camp about whether Archaeopteryx should even be considered an ancestor to birds, and many are making the case that it should be thrown out of the evolutionary lineup. Over the past several years, Archaeopteryx’s “perch” in the evolutionary tree has shifted up and down, going from being a bird to a dinosaur and then back to a bird. Archaeopteryx was even further disqualified as an evolutionary ancestor for birds when scientists found what appears to be a crow-sized bird and extinct four-winged birds in rock layers designated to be below (i.e., supposedly earlier in Earth’s history) those containing Archaeopteryx.[lxxvii]
Tiktaalik is also a widely used “transitional” fossil in textbooks—supposedly representing a missing link between fish and four-legged creatures that first walked on land.
Figure 60. Tiktaalik[lxxviii]
Tiktaalik is typically shown in textbooks as a 375-million-year-old fossil that was “on its way” to progressing into a land-dwelling creature. Sometimes the Coelacanth is also shown in this same line-up, supposedly living about the same timeframe.[lxxix]
Figure 61. Tiktaalik and the Coelacanth: Supposed Evolutionary Transitions from Fish to Amphibians.[lxxx]
Now, however, both of these fish have been ejected out of the evolutionary line-up. Until recently, evolutionists thought that Tiktaalik’s strong front fins did most of the work to pull this “transitional fish” up onto land, leaving the hind legs to evolve later. However, after more investigation of Tiktaalik’s pelvis and pelvic fins, the discoverers of Tiktaalik have developed updated illustrations showing how it used its strong pelvic structure for paddling. Now they believe that Tiktaalik’s hind-parts had so much power that it had “pelvic-propelled locomotion”[lxxxi] (see Figure 62).
Figure 62. Updated illustration of Tiktaalik in its natural environment.[lxxxii]
Even more amazing is the fact that scientists (in 2010) announced in the journal Nature that they had found footprints of a four-legged land creature in Poland that are supposedly ten million years older than Tiktaalik.[lxxxiii] So, if Tiktaalik was supposedly the ancestor of land creatures, how could land creature fossils sit 10 million years “earlier” in the rock layers than their ancestor?
The story behind coelacanths is even more amazing. These creatures were thought to live between about 400 million and 66 million years ago, but were found living in 1938![lxxxiv]
Figure 63. Coelacanths were thought to go extinct over 66 million years ago, but you can swim with one today![lxxxv]
Coelacanths were used in textbooks for decades to promote evolutionary teaching because their fins looked like they were in the primitive first stages of becoming arms and legs. So coelacanths were thought to be a transitional step to land creatures.
But all of this changed on December 23, 1938, when Marjorie Courtenay Latimer, a curator in a museum in South Africa went down to the docks to wish the crew of the fishing ship named Nerine a merry Christmas. After delivering her greetings, she noticed “a blue fin protruding beneath a pile of rays and sharks on the deck. Pushing the overlaying fish aside revealed, as she would later write, ‘the most beautiful fish I had ever seen, five feet long, and a pale mauve blue with iridescent silver markings.’”[lxxxvi] At first, she had no idea what the fish was, but after careful examination, it turned out to be a real, living coelacanth.
This discovery was such a shock among scientific circles that it was named the “zoological discovery of the century.” In 1998, another coelacanth population was found in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, where the locals call it “rajalaut”—which means “king of the sea.” How did this creature not evolve for over 300 million years? The fact is, it didn’t. It’s probably very close to the original design blueprint God used to create it!
If this chapter was not enough, one more key consideration should clearly convince. What if, after countless millions of hours spent by researchers mining the crust of the Earth for fossil evidence, the fossil record is essentially complete? That is, it stands to reason that the millions of fossils we have collected over the last 150 years exhaustively record all basic life forms that ever lived, with only a few additional “big surprises” to be found. Given this, can we say that the question of transitional forms has been asked and answered?
One way to find out is to “calculate the percentage of those animals living today that have also been found as fossils. In other words, if the fossil record is comprised of a high percentage of animals that are living today, then the fossil record could be viewed as being fairly complete; that is, most animals that have lived on the Earth have been fossilized and discovered.”[lxxxvii] Carl Werner provides a chart demonstrating the results of such an investigation:[lxxxviii]
- Of the 43 living land animal orders, such as carnivores, rodents, bats, and apes, nearly all, or 97.7%, have been found as fossils. This means that at least one example from each animal order has been collected as a fossil.
- Of the 178 living land animal families, such as dogs, bears, hyenas, and cats, 87.8% have been found in fossils.
Evolutionists have had their chance—over 150 years and millions of fossils—to prove themselves, and they have come up wanting. The theory has been weighed, tested, measured, and falsified. Aren’t 200 million opportunities and one and one-half centuries enough time to answer the issue that confounded Darwin himself?
Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?…But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the Earth?…But in the intermediate region, having intermediate conditions of life, why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties? This difficulty for a long time quite confounded me.[lxxxix]
[i] The Paleobiology Database (Frequently Asked Questions): https://paleobiodb.org/#/faq. Accessed January 26, 2017.
[iii] RATE tested the assumptions using radiohalos and fission tracks. Both showed that the assumptions were violated (Vardiman, Larry et al., Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Research Initiative. The Institute for Creation Research, December 1, 2000).
[iv] Ham, Ken. “They Can’t Allow ‘It’!” Posted August 1, 2005. Answers in Genesis. https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/global/they-cant-allow-it/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[v] Blake, Edgar, “Dinosaur National Monument.” Dinosaur Digs. Bethesda, MD: Discovery Communications, 1999: p. 120.
[vi] Hoesch, William A. & Austin, Steven A. “Dinosaur National Monument: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Jumble?” Institute for Creation Research. www.icr.org/article/dinosaur-national-monument-park-or-jurassic-jumble/. January 27, 2017.
[vii] An articulated dinosaur skeleton means that a large number of the bones from an individual dinosaur were collected in close association, enough to reassemble the dinosaur.
[viii] Werner, C. Evolution: The Grand Experiment (Vol. 1), Kindle Locations 2598–2608.
[ix] There is disagreement in the paleontology field as to whether the “dinosaur death pose” is due to choking while dying from drowning, or due to strong water currents arching the neck back after death. See: Achim G.
Reisdorf & Michael Wuttke, “Re-evaluating Moodie’s Opisthotonic-Posture Hypothesis in Fossil Vertebrates Part I: Reptiles—the taphonomy of the bipedal dinosaurs Compsognathus longipes and Juravenator starki from the Solnhofen Archipelago (Jurassic, Germany),” Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 92 (2012):119–168. Their findings stated, “From what has been presented above, it can be concluded that the formation of the ‘opisthotonic posture’ in subaquatically deposited carcasses of long-necked and long tailed reptiles is the result of a postmortem process…this posture must be seen as a normal phenomenon that occurs during subaquatic gradual embedding of these sorts of carcasses.” See discussion: Drwile.com, “Arched Necks in Dinosaur Fossils: Is Water to Blame?” www.blog.drwile.com/?p=7118. Accessed February 16, 2016.
[xi] Eberth, D.A., Brinkman, D.B., and Barkas, V.A. “Centrosaurine Mega-bonebed from the Upper Cretaceous of Southern Alberta: Implications for Behaviour and Death Events” in New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Ceratopsian Symposium at the Royal Tyrrell Museum (September 2007).
[xii] New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Ceratopsian Symposium at the Royal Tyrrell Museum (September 2007).
[xiii] Other researchers have framed similar explanations about the same area: “It looks like catastrophe… We think a herd was trying to cross a river in flood. These animals weren’t too bright.” Phillip Currie, quoted in Rick Gore, “Dinosaurs.” National Geographic (January, 1993): p. 46.
[xiv] Werner, C. Evolution: The Grand Experiment (Vol. 1), Kindle Locations 2598–2608.
[xv] Reilly, Michael. “Dinosaurs’ Last Stand Found in China?” Discovery.com. www.news.discovery.com/earth/dinosaurs-last-stand-found-in-china.htm. Accessed January 1, 2014.
[xvi] Oard, Michael J., “The Extinction of the Dinosaurs,” Journal of Creation 11(2) (1997): 137–154.
[xvii] Horner, J.R. & Gorman, J. Digging Dinosaurs. New York: Workman Publishing, 1988: 122–123.
[xviii] Credit: Caleb LePore. See: Braun, David. “Dinosaur Herd Found in Canada Named After Science Teacher.” National Geographic News. National Geographic Society, October 2, 2008; Brochu, Christopher A., Brett-Surman, M. K. “Dinosaur Provincial Park.” A Guide to Dinosaurs. San Francisco, CA: Fog City, 2002: p. 220; Horner, John R. & Gorman, James. Digging Dinosaurs. New York: Workman Pub., 1988: p. 131; French, Brett.
“New Finds, Old Site: Dinosaur Dig Revealing Insights into Montana 103 Million Years Ago.” Butte Montana Local News. August 23, 2015; French, Brett, “Jurassic Starfish Discovery in South-central Montana Wows Researchers.” Independent Record. July 6, 2015; Edgar, Blake. “Petrified Forest National Park.” Dinosaur Digs. Bethesda, MD: Discovery Communications, 1999: p. 104; Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, Glendive, Montana; Dunham, Mike. “Scientists Identify Dinosaur That Roamed the Alaska Arctic.” Alaska Dispatch News. Alaska Dispatch Publishing. September 22, 2015.
[xix] “Living Fossils Display No Signs of Evolution’s Long Ages.” Institute for Creation Research. www.icr.org/living-fossils/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[xx] Philip John Currie (who helped found the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alberta), stated: “Bones do not have to be ‘turned into stone’ to be fossils, and usually most of the original bone is still present in a dinosaur fossil.” (Currie, P.J. & Koppelhus, E.B. 101 Questions about Dinosaurs. Dover Publications, 1996: p. 11.
[xxi] Hecht, Jeff. “Blood vessels recovered from T. rex bone.” March 24, 2005. NewScientist.com (Daily News). www.newscientist.com/article/dn7195-blood-vessels-recovered-from-t-rex-bone/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[xxiii] See, for example: Pawlicki, R. & Wowogrodzka-Zagorska, M. “Blood vessels and red blood cells preserved in dinosaur bones.” Annals of Anatomy 180 (1998): 73–77; Schweitzer, M. H., Wittmeyer, J.L., Horner, J.R., and Toporske, J.K. “Soft-tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex.” Science, 307 (2005): 1952; Schweitzer M.H., Wittmeyer, J.L., and Horner, J.R. “Soft tissue and cellular preservation in vertebrate skeletal elements from the Cretaceous to the present.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274 (2007): 183–197; Schweitzer, M.H., Zheng, W., Organ, C.L., Avci, R., Suo, Z., Freimark, L.M., Lebleu, V.S., Duncan, M.B., Vander Heiden, M.G., Neveu, J.M., Lane, W.S., Cottrell, J.S., Horner, J.R., Cantley, L.C., Kalluri, R., and Asara, J.M. “Biomolecular characterization and protein sequences of the campanian Hadrosaur B. Canadensis.” Science, 324 (2009): 626–631.
[xxiv] Schweitzer, M. & Staedter, I. The Real Jurassic Park, Earth, June 1997, pp. 55–57.
[xxv] See next reference. These two images are from a 2005 discovery from Dr. Schweitzer that clearly show blood vessels from a T. rex bone.
[xxvi] Pawlicki, R. and Wowogrodzka-Zagorska, M. “Blood vessels and red blood cells preserved in dinosaur bones.” Annals of Anatomy 180 (1998):
73–77; Schweitzer, et al., 2005, 1952; Schweitzer, et al., 2007, 183–197; Schweitzer, et al., 2009, 626–631; Lindgren, J., Caldwell, M.W., Konishi, T., Chiappe, L.M., “Convergent Evolution in Aquatic Tetrapods: Insights from an Exceptional Fossil Mosasaur.” PLoS ONE 5 (8) (2010): e11998.
[xxvii] Yeoman, Barry, “Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery.” Posted April 27, 2006. Discovery Magazine. www.discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna. Accessed January 27, 2017.
[xxviii] Schweitzer, M.H., Marhsall, M., Carron, K., Bohle, D.S., Busse, S.C., Arnold, E.V., Barnard, D., Horner, J.R., and Starkey, J.R. “Heme compounds in dinosaur trabecular bone.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 94, (1997): p. 6295.
[xxix] Asara, J.M., Schweitzer, M.H., Freimark, L.M., Phillips, M., and Cantley, L.C. “Protein sequences from mastodon and Tyrannosaurus rex revealed by mass spectrometry.” Science, 316 (2007): 280–285.
[xxx] Armitage, M., “Soft bone material from a brow horn of a Triceratops horridus from Hell Creek Formation, MT.” Creation Research Society Quarterly, 51 (2015): 248–258.
[xxxi] Schweitzer, M.H., Zheng, W., Cleland, T.P., and Bern, M. “Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules.” Bone, 52 (2013): 414–423; Armitage, 2015, 248–258; Armitage, M. and Anderson, K.L. “Soft tissue of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus.” Acta Histochemica, 115 (2013): 603–608; Pawlicki, R., “Histochemical demonstration of DNA in osteocytes from dinosaur bones.” Folia Histochemica Et Cytobiologica, 33 (1995): 183–186.
[xxxii] M.H. Schweitzer, et al. 2005. “Molecular preservation in Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur eggshells.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 272 (1565): 775–784.
[xxxiii] Cody, G.D., Gupta, N.S., Briggs, D.E.G., Kilcoyne, A.L.D., Summons, R.E., Kenig, F., Plotnick, R.E., and Scott, A. C. “Molecular signature of chitin-protein complex in Paleozoic arthropods.” Geology, 39 (3) (2011): 255–258; Ehrlich, H., Rigby, J.K., Botting, J.P., Tsurkan, M.V., Werner, C., Schwille, P., Petrášek, Z., Pisera, A., Simon, P., Sivkov, V.N., Vyalikh, D.V., Molodtsov, S.L., Kurek, D., Kammer, M., Hunoldt, S., Born, R., D. Stawski, Steinhof, A., Bazhenov, V.V., and Geisler, T. “Discovery of 505-million-year old chitin in the basal demosponge Vauxia gracilenta.” Scientific Reports. 3 (2013): 3497.
[xxxv] Joling, Dan. “Fossils of new duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaur species found in Alaska, researchers say.” September 25, 2015. Yukon News. www:accesswdun.com/article/2015/9/337248.
[xxxvi] Schweitzer, Wittmeyer, & Horner (2007), 183–197.
[xxxvii] Mori, Hirotsugu, Druckenmiller, Patrick S., and Erickson, Gregory M., “A new Arctic hadrosaurid from the Prince Creek Formation (lower Maastrichtian) of northern Alaska.” Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 61 (1), (2016): 15–32; Fiorillo, A.R., McCarthy, P.J., and Flaig, P.P. “Taphonomic and sedimentologic interpretations of the dinosaur-bearing Upper Cretaceous Strata of the Prince Creek Formation, Northern Alaska: Insights from an ancient high-latitude terrestrial ecosystem.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 295 (2010): 376–388; Gangloff, R.A. & Fiorillo, A.R. “Taphonomy and paleoecology of a bonebed from the Prince Creek Formation, North Slope, Alaska.” Palaios, 25 (2010): 299–317; Schweitzer, M.H., Johnson, C., Zocco, T.G., Horner, J.R., and Starkey, J.R., “Preservation of biomolecules in cancellous bone of Tyrannosaurus rex,” J.
Vertebrate paleontology 17 (2) (1997): 349–359; Schweitzer, M.H., Marshall, M., Carron, K., Bohle, D.S., Busse, S.C., Arnold, E.V., Barnard, D., Horner, J.R., and Starkey, J.R., “Heme compounds in dinosaur trabecular bone,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 94 (1997): 6291–6296; As stated in Helder (above): “An initial announcement was printed in l985 in Geological Society of America abstract programs Vol.17, p. 548. Already in press at that time was an article describing the site and the condition of the bones (Davies, Kyle L., ‘Duck-bill Dinosaurs (Hadrosauridae, Ornithischia) from the North Slope of Alaska’, Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 61 No.1, pp.198–200); Schweitzer, Wittmeyer, & Horner, 2007, 183–197.
[xxxviii] Yeoman, 2006.
[xxxix] Avila, Severo, “Alan Stout is the Bone Collector.” Posted April 11, 2010. Northwest Georgia News: www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/lifestyles/alan-stout-is-the-bone-collector/article_6b1268e7-3350-5dfd-a3dc-652dcf27d174.html. Accessed January 27, 2017.
[xl] Stout, Alan, Personal communication, January 16, 2017.
[xli] Bern, Marshall, Phinney, Brett S., and Goldberg, David. “Reanalysis of Tyrannosaurus Rex Mass Spectra.” Journal of Proteome Research 8.9 (2009): 4328–4332.
[xlii] Thomas, Brian, “Original Biomaterials in Fossils.” Creation Research Society Quarterly, 51 (2015): 234–347.
[xliii] Schroeter, E. R., Dehart, C. J., Cleland, T. P., Zheng, W., Thomas, P. M., Kelleher, N. L., Bern, M., & Schweitzer, M. H. Expansion for the Brachylophosaurus canadensis Collagen I Sequence and Additional Evidence of the Preservation of Cretaceous Protein. Journal of Proteome Research, 16 (2) (2017): 920–932.
[xliv] Hays, Brooks. “Scientists find ancient dinosaur collagen.” Posted January 23, 2017. Science News. www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/01/23/Scientists-find-ancient-dinosaur-collagen/6091485202598/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[xlv] Bertazzo, S., et al. “Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75-million-year-old dinosaur specimens,” Nature Communications, 6, (2015).
[xlvi] Buckley, M. & Collins, M. J. “Collagen survival and its use for species identification in Holocene-Lower Pleistocene bone fragments from British archaeological and paleontological sites.” Antiqua, 1 (2011): e1.
[xlvii] Service, Robert F. “Scientists retrieve 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein in ‘milestone’ paper.” Posted January 31, 2017. Science.com.
www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/01/scientists-retrieve-80-million-year-old-dinosaur-protein-milestone-paper. Accessed February 5, 2017.
[xlviii] Schweitzer, et al. Bone, 2013, 414–423; Woodward, S. R., Weyand, N. J., and Bunnell, M. “DNA Sequence from Cretaceous Period Bone Fragments.” Science, 266 (5188) (1994): 1229–1232.
[xlix] Lingham-Soliar, T. “A unique cross section through the skin of the dinosaur Psittacosaurus from China showing a complex fibre architecture.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 275 (2008): 775–780. Lingham-Soliar, T. and Plodowski, G. “The integument of Psittacosaurus from Liaoning Province, China: taphonomy, epidermal patterns and color of a ceratopsian dinosaur.” Naturwissenschaften 97 (2010): 479–486.
[l] Greshko, Michael. “The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada.” Posted November 1, 2017. National Geographic. www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/history-and-civilisation/2017/11/amazing-dinosaur-found-accidentally-miners-canada. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[li] Ibid. Photographs by Robert Clark.
[lii] Schweitzer, Zheng, Cleland, & Bern (2013): 414–423.
[liv] Edwards, N.P., Barden, H.E., van Dongen, B.E., Manning, P.L., Larson, P.O., Bergmann, U., Sellers, W.I., and Wogelius, R.A. “Infrared mapping resolves soft tissue preservation in 50 million year-old reptile skin.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 278 (2011): 3209–3218.
[lv] Bergmann, U., et al., “Archaeopteryx feathers and bone chemistry fully revealed via synchrotron imaging.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (20) (2010): 9060–9065.
[lvi] Hayashi, S., Carpenter, K., Watabe, M., and McWhinney, L.A., “Ontogenetic histology of Stegosaurus plates and spikes.” Palaeontology 55 (2012): 145–161.
[lvii] Schweitzer, M.H., Science, 2009, 626–631.
[lviii] See Buckley & Collins, 2011, e1. Hypothetically, if dinosaurs include an unrealistically large mass of initial collagen, it may last as long as 1.7 million years (see Thomas, Brian, “A Review of Original Tissue Fossils and their Age Implications,” Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism [Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship]). However, this upper estimate assumes that skin, muscles, and connective tissue collagen decays as slowly as bone collagen, which is not typically the case (Brian Thomas, personal communication, February 15, 2017).
[lix] Johnson, Brian. “Soft tissue preserved in 80-million-year-old dino fossil,” Earth Magazine. Posted Thursday, April 30, 2009.
www.earthmagazine.org/article/soft-tissue-preserved-80-million-year-old-dino-fossil. Accessed September 8, 2020.
[lx] Yeoman, 2006.
[lxi] “Lawsuit: CSUN Scientist Fired After Soft Tissue Found on Dinosaur Fossil.” Posted July 24, 2014. CBSN Los Angeles. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/07/24/scientist-alleges-csun-fired-him-for-discovery-of-soft-tissue-on-dinosaur-fossil/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[lxiii] Werner, C. Living Fossils. Evolution: The Grand Experiment (Vol. 2). Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2008, 242.
[lxiv] Brocklehurst, N., Upchurch P., Mannion, P.D., O’Connor, J. The Completeness of the Fossil Record of Mesozoic Birds: Implications for Early Avian Evolution. PLoS ONE 7 (6) (2012): e39056. See also: Mitchell, Elizabeth. “Birds Buried with Dinos at K-T Boundary.” Posted October 8, 2011. Answers in Genesis. https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/fossil-record/birds-buried-with-dinos-k-t-boundary/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[lxv] Werner, C. Evolution: The Grand Experiment (Vol. 1), Kindle Locations 3458–3459.
[lxvi] Interestingly, the discovering author states, “Moreover, although the tracks may belong toenantiornithine birds, their overall form and size are similar to those of ornithurines (Falk 2011), speciﬁcally birds belonging to the modern clade Ardeidae, such as egrets and herons (Elbroch and Marks 2001; Lockley et al. 2009).” (Martin, A.J., Vickers‐Rich, P., Rich, T.H. and Hall, M. (2014), Oldest known avian footprints from Australia: Eumeralla Formation (Albian), Dinosaur Cove, Victoria. Palaeontology, 57: 7–19).
See also: Gannon, Megan. “Bird footprints 100 million years old: Oldest ever found in Australia.” Posted October 28, 2013. NBCNEWs. www.nbcnews.com/sciencemain/bird-footprints-100-million-years-old-oldest-ever-found-australia-8C11481570. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[lxvii] Dr. David Weishampel, e-mail communication with Dr. Carl Werner. Cited in Werner, C. Evolution: The Grand Experiment. Green Forest, Arkansas: New Leaf Press, 2007, 126.
[lxviii] Creationists debate the nature of the pre-flood world. It is, however, quite possible that it was different in many ways compared to today’s world.
[lxix] Werner, Evolution: The Grand Experiment (3rd Edition), Kindle Location 116.
[lxx] Distribution of pterosaur fossil locations. Colored species or genera names correspond to their taxonomic group. Adapted from Witton (Witton, Mark P. Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy. Princeton University Press (2013). Taxonomic groups based on Unwin et al. (2010) (Unwin, David M. “Darwinopterus and its implications for pterosaur phylogeny,” in Acta Geoscientica Sinica, 31 (1), (2010): 68–69.
[lxxi] “Dinosaur Ancestors Alive Earlier than Originally Thought.” Posted March 6, 2010. Answers in Genesis. https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/types/dinosaur-ancestors-alive-earlier/. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[lxxii] Werner, Evolution: The Grand Experiment (3rd Edition). New Leaf Press.
[lxxiii] Lambert, David. The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. London: Bloomsbury Books, 1994, p. 26–27.
[lxxv] Image credit: Wikipedia.
[lxxvi] Feduccia, Allan. “Archaeopteryx: Early Bird Catches a Can of Worms.”
Science, Vol. 259, (February 5, 1993: p. 764.
[lxxvii] Beardsley, T. Fossil bird shakes evolutionary hypotheses, Nature 322 (6081): 1986, 677; X. Xu, et al., An Archaeopteryx-like theropod from China and the origin of Avialae, Nature 475 (7357) (2011): 465–470.
[lxxviii] Image credit: Wikipedia: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik.
[lxxix] Johanson, Z., Long, J.A., Talent, J.A., Janvier, P., Warren, J.W. “Oldest coelacanth, from the Early Devonian of Australia,” Biology Letters 2 (3) (2006): 443–6.
[lxxx] Image credit: Wikipedia: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fishapods.png.
[lxxxi] Shubin N. et al., “Pelvic girdle and fin of Tiktaalik roseae,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (January 13, 2014); See also: Mitchell, Elizabeth. “Did Tiktaalik’s Pelvis Prepare Fish to Walk on Land?” Posted January 23, 2014. Answers in Genesis. www.answersingenesis.org/extinct-animals/did-tiktaaliks-pelvis-prepare-fish-to-walk-on-land/. Accessed February 16, 2016.
[lxxxii] Shubin, Neil. “Tiktaalik roseae fossil analysis provides new details on the origin of vertebrate legs.” Posted January 13, 2014. Phys.org. http://phys.org/news/2014-01-discovery-tiktaalik-roseae-fossils-reveals.html. Accessed September 22, 2020. Image credit: University of Chicago.
[lxxxiii] Philippe, Janvier & Clément, Gaël, “Palaeontology: Muddy tetrapod origins.” Nature 463 (January 7, 2010), 40–41.
[lxxxiv] Lavett, Smith C., Rand, Charles S., Schaeffer, Bobb, Atz, James W. “Latimeria, the Living Coelacanth, is Ovoviviparous,” Science 190 (4219) (1975): 1105–6.
[lxxxv] Image credit: Fossil (Shutterstock.com); Living (Smithsonian: Ocean. An Indonesian coelacanth and Arnaz Mehta Erdmann, at about a 50-foot depth (Photo by Mark V. Erdmann). https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/fish/coelacanth. Accessed September 22, 2020.
[lxxxvii] Werner, Carl. Evolution: The Grand Experiment. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2007: 86.
[lxxxviii] Chart adapted from: Denton, Michael. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Bethesda: Adler & Adler, 1985.
[lxxxix] Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. New York: The Modern Library, 1859, 124–125.