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Fossilized dinosaur retains its shape

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Published: 17 April 2018 (GMT+10)
Nodosaur

There is great excitement over a wonderfully preserved fossil of an armoured, plant-eating dinosaur called a nodosaur which is now on display at a Canadian museum.

The fossil was found encased in a siderite concretion which occurs when minerals cause sediment to harden (like cement) around organic materials. The process has also been known to encase non-organic man-made items such as military ordnance (for example, World War II bombs and shells).

After the outer material was removed, what remained was the fossilized body of the nodosaur—from snout to hips—basically in its original 3-D shape. This is unusual because most fossils are flattened by the weight of sediment. The shape of its bone structures and scales are clearly discernible. As well, it has been suggested from melanin in the organic residues that the creature was a reddish brown color. It is estimated to have been 5.5 m (18 ft) long and weighed about 1,300 kg (2,860 lb). A museum staffer observed: “It’s basically a dinosaur mummy—it really is exceptional.”1

Researchers also noted:

The carcass arrived at the seabed on its back and with sufficient force to impact and deform the immediately underlying sedimentary layers. Despite the trace fossils left by burrowing animals in the hosting sediments, implying at least a partially oxygenated environment, the specimen lacks any evidence of scavenging.2

No evidence of scavenging indicates rapid burial, consistent with the biblical Flood model which better explains why this and so many other creatures are found in similar states of preservation. As well, the nodosaur was a land-dwelling creature, so had to be transported to its watery grave.

References and notes

  1. Greshko, M., The amazing dinosaur found (accidentally) by miners in Canada, nationalgeographic.com, June 2017. Return to text.
  2. Brown, C.M., An exceptionally preserved three-dimensional armored dinosaur reveals insights into coloration and Cretaceous predator-prey dynamics, Curr. Biol. 27(16):2514–2521.e3, August 2017 | doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.071. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Flood Fossils
by Vance Nelson
US $32.00
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The Fossil Record
by John D Morris, Frank J Sherwin
US $20.00
Hard cover

Reader’s comments

WR B.
The nodosaur’s siderite concretion was found in the much larger Athabasca Oil Sands (a highly abrasive quartz sand and shale mixture), covering 54,000 sq mi, being mined for its bitumen (crude oil/ tar, as in the famous La Brea Tar Pits of Southern California). An occasional tree stump is found, but a lot of vegetation, like in coal, is not. The nodosaur was torn in half before being encased in the siderite (a typical FeCO₃ overgrowth) or the concretion was broken before deposition (the rear portion and tail club of the nodosaur was not found). The distortion in underlying sediment also suggest it was encased elsewhere and dropped in this site. The movement of large concretions and tree stumps without smaller vegetation detritus shows these are catastrophic flood deposits not a living environment. True burrowing evidence in the sand, I would question, so would not build an argument on it. A deposit of sand this large saturated with crude oil does not sound possible from a seep, but the lack of plant material does not fit current models for petroleum generation, except abiotic generation. So likely the tar and sand were deposited together, making for very interesting Flood evidence.
Philip L.
Great Flood evidence—to add to a mountain of other historically and recently accumulated data.

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