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Creation 45(4):15–19, October 2023

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Dinosaur tracks and eggs

How could they form during the Flood?


Photos by Michael Oard17045-fig1
Fig. 1. Tooth marks on a dinosaur bone from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Fig. 2. Tyrannosaurus rex tooth found in very large dinosaur graveyard, northeast Wyoming.

One of the challenges raised by anticreationists to Flood geology has been the evidence of obvious dinosaur activity in the chaos of the Flood. Millions of dinosaur tracks and eggs have been discovered across the world. Above and below each surface on which the tracks and eggs are found (their geological horizon) are sediments that creation geologists maintain were deposited by the Flood. How could dinosaurs be walking around making tracks and laying eggs during a global deluge?

A similar challenge concerns the dinosaur bonebeds (graveyards). These show every sign that the animals were killed by a catastrophic flood. Even secular scientists often concede that, though they deny a global one. In a global Flood scenario, however, the continuing deluge activity was responsible for the further layers of sediment we see above these bonebeds—some of which layers contain further such graveyards.

However, many of these bonebeds in the midst of sequences of Flood-deposited layers show signs the carcasses were scavenged after death. There are tooth marks on the bones (fig. 1) and even broken-off teeth of carnivorous dinosaurs (fig. 2). This, too, is evidence of the activity of live dinosaurs. A consistent creationist interpretation means all this activity occurred before Day 150 during the Flood year (when the waters reached their peak). But how can this be?

Faith in the Bible devastated

The shock of discovering such things devastated one particular student’s faith in the Bible, enough to be reported in the secular literature:

By day, quarrying through thin layers of rock, “we started to come across footprints of terrestrial animals,” says Godfrey. “You can’t imagine a global flood and animals finding ground to make footprints on. … That, more than anything, any other experience in my life, really shook me to the core.”1

If the young college student had read creationist responses to this challenge, he could have avoided his tailspin. Young people, parents, and grandparents need to ensure they are educated in the biblical and scientific evidence for Genesis creation.

It is in any case risky to claim any part of the Bible is wrong, including Genesis 1–11. History shows that with further discovery, careful examination, or adding a new variable, challenges evaporate. This has often happened in archaeology; the Bible has been shown right again and again. And often, as we will see here, a careful look at the data reveals that it also contains challenges for secular scientists.

In this case, the apparent challenges to Flood geology can all be addressed via one simple insight. That is, in a complex global Flood, there would often be areas of freshly laid sediment exposed as the water level temporarily fell in that region (see ‘The BEDS model’).

Dinosaurs that could swim could land on such an area and remain for a time until it was flooded again. While there, they would make tracks, lay eggs, and scavenge dead dinosaurs, of which there would have been many. Then when the level of the floodwater rose again (fig. 3b), any dinosaur features would be rapidly covered by fresh sediment, preserving them.

Fig. 3a. Block diagram showing rapid sedimentation at three different times early in the Flood. As sed­i­ment­a­tion progresses, the depth of the floodwater declines.

IIlustrations by Melanie Richard
Fig. 3b. Block diagram of two later snapshots show­ing how easily freshly laid Flood sediments can be exposed by a small fall in local or regional ‘sea level’ and then covered up by a small rise. The block diagram could represent a small or large area of exposure, for instance up to 10,000 km2 (4,000 miles2).
Photo courtesy Nathan Mogk17045-fig3c
Fig. 3c. Mudcracks and raindrop imprints in an arroyo (steep-sided gully) in Tucson, Arizona, USA, a day or two after rain.

At a later stage, those new sediments could again be tem­por­ar­ily exposed, allowing surviving dinosaurs to move around on them once more. This explains tracks in the same geo­graph­ical location on successive beds at different levels. For instance, hundreds of thousands of tracks were found in a marine limestone (thought to have been deposited in ocean water) in the northeast Bighorn Basin of north-central Wyoming.2,3 This makes sense in a global Flood scenario, but secularists conveniently evade their many problems here by automatically adding the supposition of a beach.

Of particular interest here is that these dinosaur tracks are on two bedding planes said to be separated by three million years. Yet the tracks are similar. What are the odds that three million years later, the same dinosaur type would once more make tracks in the very same area? This is a huge problem for secular ‘deep time’ geology. Yet it makes sense in a BEDS Flood model. There would have been numerous falls and rises in the level of the floodwaters during the ongoing rise of the floodwaters in the Inundatory Stage (waters rising).4 The process shown in fig. 3b can happen again and again in the same area. Therefore tracks, as well as eggs, and scavenged bonebeds, can occur at multiple levels in an area (fig. 4).

Making better sense of the evidence

The above is only one example of where a Flood model well explains evidence which remains a challenge to long-age interpretations. In fact, when we look carefully at the evidence for the challenges outlined, there are many features which make a great deal of sense in a Flood model, often much more so than the long-age explanation.

Illustrations by Melanie Richard


Fig. 4. Schematic of how multiple layers of dinosaur tracks and eggs could form on BEDS during mul­tiple oscillations of local sea level.
a) During a relative sea level fall, dinosaurs make tracks and lay eggs on BEDS.
b) A relative sea level rise spreads a layer of sediment over the eggs, tracks, and any dinosaurs that died in the process. Alternatively, the dinosaurs could have been temporarily swept off BEDS, only to return later.
c) Another local drop in sea level exposes the BEDS again with a new layer of sediment. The dinosaurs again walk on BEDS, lay eggs, and sometimes scavenge dead dinosaurs on BEDS.

The BEDS model

BEDS stands for Briefly Exposed Diluvial Sediments. (Diluvial is from the noun ‘Diluvium’, another word for Noah’s Flood.) In areas of rapid sediment deposition, the floodwater becomes shallower (fig. 3a). The top of the water would not be steady but oscillate up and down due to at least five straight­forward mechanisms.1,2 Lunar tides would cause two very predictable oscillations a day. These would take place during the general rise in the floodwaters before the peak of the Flood is reached on about Day 150. Then, any local or regional drop in the level of the floodwater would expose a freshly laid bedding plane (fig. 3b).

Dinosaur features are often found on top of thick sedimentary rocks in areas that show hundreds to thousands of metres of erosion. The erosion can be placed in the Recessive Stage of the Flood.3 Thus, the dinosaur observations can be placed late in the Inundatory Stage. The BEDS model helps us to understand many features occurring within a series of Flood sediments. In addition to those covered in the main text, these include, e.g., bird tracks, animal burrows, and the like. Even mudcracks and raindrop imprints can form rapidly due to BEDS (fig. 3c). And, as with tracks, the preservation of such short-lived structures makes much more sense with prompt burial before they have a chance to erode.

  1. Oard, M.J., Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries: How the Genesis Flood makes sense of dinosaur evidence—including tracks, nests, eggs, and scavenged bones, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2011; creation.com/s/10-2-582.
  2. Oard, M.J., Bates, G., Wolfe, T., and Turbuck, C., Exploring Dinosaurs with Mr. Hibb, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2016; creation.com/s/10-1-587.
  3. Oard, ref. 9 main text.


  • Very few babies or young juveniles in bonebeds: This makes sense considering that babies and young would succumb quickly, while the older juveniles and adults would be capable of fleeing the relentlessly encroaching floodwater, often for days, before finally succumbing. In present-day catastrophes, both young and old animals die together.
  • A preponderance of one species: Present-day catastrophes tend to bury many species common to the area. Bonebeds, which can contain more than 10,000 individuals, not infrequently have almost exclusively one species of dinosaur. In the face of a developing Flood catastrophe, the various groups of dinosaurs of the same or similar species would instinctively herd together to face the danger, much like present-day elk herd for protection against the dangers of winter. One bonebed about 100 km (60 miles) west of Great Falls in the US state of Montana contains over 10,000 dinosaurs, all of the same species, Maiasaura peeblesorum. In fact, secular scientists now believe they died in an extraordinary flood: “This was no ordinary spring flood from one of the streams in the area but a catastrophic inundation.”5


photos by Michael Oard17045-fig5
Fig. 5. Three out of five straight tracks (the other two were heavily eroded) of a small three-toed dinosaur, Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming, USA.
Fig. 6. Display showing five long, straight trackways of small, three-toed dinosaurs (in green) from near Shell, northeast Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, USA.
  • Straight trackways: Two or more tracks in a row represent a trackway. Animals in their normal environments make tracks meandering in numerous directions and sometimes sharply changing direction. But animals trying to escape a threat generally run straight. The vast majority of dinosaur trackways are straight or only gently curved (figs. 5 and 6). This makes sense in the light of dinosaurs fleeing rising floodwaters.
  • No trackways on slopes: Trackways are always found on flat bedding planes within sedimentary rock. Interestingly, the dinosaurs seem to never climb any hills. In their normal habitat, there would have been slopes for them to go up and down. But it makes sense if the tracks were made on freshly deposited Flood sediment, which is always flat.
  • Trackways in marine sediments: As noted, dinosaur tracks have sometimes been found in limestone thought to have been deposited in ocean water. The automatic secular supposition of a beach within the limestone is arbitrary, and unnecessary within a Flood model.
  • Superimposed repeating trackways: This includes the tracks in Wyoming discussed above, where similar tracks occur ‘millions of years’ apart in the same spot. These require impossibly unlikely ‘coincidences’ in a long-age model.
  • Tracks usually of good swimmers: One rarely finds tracks of dinosaurs likely to be poor swimmers, such as stegosaurs with their plates on their back and spiked tail, Triceratops with its heavy head frills, and ankylosaurs with their spiked armour and heavy tail.
  • Tracks are present at all: Normally, exposed tracks erode away within days to a few weeks. In a Flood scenario, they would be buried by the next cycle of sedimentation, preserving them until now. But sedimentation in the secular view is generally extremely slow, making it difficult to explain why they would have been preserved at all.


  • Unlikely laying/nesting behaviour: Practically all the eggs are laid on a flat bedding plane with little or no evidence of a nest, such as a hole being dug, or vegetation placed over the eggs. Actual nest structures are rare.6,7 But dinosaur eggs are very porous. Without protection they would quickly dry out, killing the embryo.8,9 It is likely that the dinosaurs had little time to make a nest or find vegetation to insulate the eggs under those unusual and stressful conditions.
  • Eggs preserved at all: Some very unusual conditions would be required to bury and fossilize millions of dinosaur eggs quickly enough to preserve them without destroying them. ‘Slow and gradual’ doesn’t cut it.


The Flood was a much more complex event than people often assume. There were areas of calm, areas of chaos with strong currents and great turbulence, and briefly exposed areas of fresh sediment (BEDS) at various times during the Inundatory Stage. Understanding this can answer many of the challenges to creationists about dinosaur activity during the Flood which might otherwise have seemed impossible to explain. In examining the relevant evidence, we find that the data presents secular scientists with unresolved challenges.

References and notes

  1. Couzin, J., Crossing the divide, Science 319:1,035, 2008. Return to text.
  2. Kvale, E.P. and 5 others, Middle Jurassic (Bajocian and Bathonian) dinosaur megatracksites, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, U.S.A., Palaios 16:233–254, 2001. Return to text.
  3. Oard, M.J., Newly discovered dinosaur megatracksites support Flood model, J. Creation 16(3):5–7, 2002; creation.com/dino-megatracksites. Return to text.
  4. Walker, T., A biblical geologic model; in: Proc. 4th ICC, pp. 581–592, 1994; biblicalgeology.net. See diagram at creation.com/biblical-geology-model. Return to text.
  5. Horner, J.R. and Gorman, J., Digging Dinosaurs, p. 131, Workman Publishing, New York, 1988. Return to text.
  6. Chiappe, L.M. and 5 others, Nest structure for sauropods: sedimentary criteria for recognition of dinosaur nesting traces, Palaios 19:89–95, 2004. Return to text.
  7. Oard, M.J., Evidence of dinosaur nest construction is extremely rare, J. Creation 19(2):21–22, 2005; creation.com/dino-nest-construction-rare. Return to text.
  8. Grellet-Tinner, G. and 2 others, Water vapor conductance of the Lower Cretaceous dinosaurian eggs from Sanagasta, La Rioja, Argentina: paleobiological and paleoecological implications for South American faveoloolithid and megaloolithid eggs, Palaios 27:35–47, 2012. Return to text.
  9. Oard, M.J., The meaning of porous dinosaur eggs laid on flat bedding planes, J. Creation 27(1):3–4, 2013; creation.com/dinosaur-eggs. Return to text.

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