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Flood-buried crocodile’s last supper was a dinosaur

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Published: 14 April 2022 (GMT+10)
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Did the crocodile ambush the juvenile dinosaur?

A fossilized crocodile discovered about one metre below the surface in the Winton Formation in Queensland, Australia, had a young dinosaur in its stomach. That ornithopod (a bipedal herbivore) under 2 kg became the last supper—either scavenged or ambushed—for the extinct crocodyliform. This reptile, appropriately named Confractosuchus sauroktonos (broken crocodile, lizard killer), was dated between 92.5 and 104 million years old. They recovered about 35% of the crocodile’s 2–2.5 m body, with an almost complete skull. However, “the abdominal region preserving the ornithopod was badly damaged by excavation equipment prior to its discovery”.1

Different worldviews may agree on some aspects

Both evolutionists and creationists believe crocodiles were contemporaneous with dinosaurs—albeit at vastly different time scales—and at times these different animals might well cross paths. No surprises here (apart from maybe the little dinosaur, if it was ambushed).

C. sauroktonos is believed to have died in a flood. That too is nothing new to creationists or evolutionists. The difference here is that creationists point to Noah’s global Flood, whereas evolutionists are nowadays quite happy to invoke catastrophic but strictly local inundations. Here are examples of fossil finds attributed to deluge(s):

This list of examples allows us to see a clear pattern that connects with overwhelming evidence of the biblical Flood.

A co-author of the study reviewed here said, “The fossilised remains were found in a large boulder. Concretions often form when organic matter, or say a crocodile, sinks to the bottom of a river.”2

This statement in the Mirror article—about the crocodile sinking to the bottom—does not rhyme well with its author quoting (twice!) from the original Gondwana Research paper that the semiaquatic reptile died in a flood!

Even if the remains of a dead animal were to immediately sink to the bottom, they would still need to be covered fairly quickly, before decay and scavengers commence their work of disposing of the tissues that keep the bones from becoming disarticulated, i.e. scattered. For instance, the young dinosaur “remains displayed clear evidence of oral processing, carcass reduction (dismemberment) and bone fragmentation”.1 In other words, the eating process of the crocodile caused the dinosaur to be broken apart. The same fate would be awaiting the crocodile, unless it was preserved by some means, for example rapid burial followed by relatively rapid hardening.

Quick burial

“Because the environment is rich in minerals, within days the mud around the organism can solidify and harden because [of] the presence of bacteria,” explained Dr Bevitt.3

So, did the dead crocodile descend into a layer of mud, presumably soft enough for the carcass to settle into due to gravity? Contrary to the sinking crocodile Mirror report, “Investigators think it is likely that the crocodile was caught up in a megaflood event, was buried and died suddenly.”3 (emphasis added)

Such a catastrophic process would provide a way to harden a layer of soft sediment by squeezing excess water out and cementing the grains together. This would be achieved by putting pressure on the layer, for instance by quickly adding more weight—sediments—on top. Noah’s Flood would be an excellent scenario to accomplish exactly this. Not only would this catastrophe be able to quickly bury the crocodile but it would also continue to transport sediments into the area, form more layers on top, and provide conditions for the sediments to harden.

commons.wikimedia.orgornithopod
The ornithopod in question was believed to be a juvenile.

Concluding remarks

Ever increasing numbers of fossils are said to have been buried by floods, in different parts of the world and in different layers. Would the simplest explanation not be the biblical Flood lasting just over a year—for which there is an eye-witness account—as opposed to invoking numerous local floods at different places and times which have not been observed?

CMI has written extensively over the years, discussing the Flood, its bearings on geology, and fossils, providing ample evidence that the biblical worldview explains these things very well.

References and notes

  1. White, M., et al., Abdominal contents reveal Cretaceous crocodyliforms ate dinosaurs, Gondwana Research 106:281–302, 2022. Return to text.
  2. Murray, G., 93-million-year-old crocodile found with a baby dinosaur in its stomach, mirror.co.uk, 20 February 2022. Return to text.
  3. Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), 93-Million-Year-Old “Killer” Crocodile Discovered With a Baby Dinosaur in Its Stomach, scitechdaily.com, 16 February 2022. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Flood Fossils
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The Fossil Record
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