Creation 41(3):42–44, July 2019
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Tyrannosaur ‘walking with sharks’?
How Hell Creek supports the Bible.
Fossils recently discovered in Hell Creek rock formation (Montana, USA) testify to the recent Flood of Noah, which would have buried many land and sea creatures together. This is the same formation in which soft tissue and intact protein was found in a T. rex fossil, flying in the face of belief in millions of years and evolution.1
A paper published in the Journal of Palaeontology2 describes the discovery of the teeth of various small marine sharks in close association with the most complete and likely the largest Tyrannosaurus rex specimen yet unearthed. This is the famous “Sue”, aka skeleton FMNH PF 2081, named after discoverer Sue Hendrickson.
This new find highlights the increasing lengths evolutionists resort to, so they can explain away their data. In this case, the problem is that marine shark teeth are mixed up with a land-based T. rex skeleton. The teeth, including those of a ‘new’ species of small shark, Galagadon nordquistae,3 were discovered in close association with the T. rex skeleton—actually in the surrounding soil matrix encasing the bones. Furthermore, these teeth are similar to those of modern marine sharks—which is a problem given that Sue was believed to live in a fresh-water environment containing crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, fish, and plants.2 The authors admit that recovery of “carcharhinid” (migratory shark) teeth from the Sue locality is “surprising given the [supposed] freshwater environment from which the fossils derive.” 2
The paper does not discuss how Sue could have been so well preserved (90% complete) in an environment they assume was teeming with crocodiles and fish (because fossils of those are buried there). In their scenario, these would have been all too ready to dispose of any T. rex carcass that happened to come their way! Of course, the added complication now is how to explain marine fossils alongside those of freshwater and land creatures—all jumbled together.
A flood, or the Flood?
The obvious answer is to invoke a flood of course! The authors theorize: “Throughout the latter half of the Cretaceous an intercontinental seaway ﬂooded part of the North American continent, providing ideal conditions for the invasion of freshwater ecosystems by sharks and rays as well as the subsequent preservation of those ecosystems in the fossil record.”2 Problem solved? Far from it! The flood scenario envisioned would have lasted around 40 million years, as an imperceptibly gradual single event. The authors believe sediments containing shark teeth were deposited when the supposed “intercontinental seaway” retreated from North America, due to an episode of mountain-building (‘Laramide orogeny’).
The global Flood of Noah (Genesis 6–8) provides a far superior explanation for the co-existence of marine, freshwater and land animal fossils. The entire globe was in effect covered by the ocean, with powerful currents eroding and depositing sediment and burying countless creatures—from both land and sea.
This also explains why there is excellent preservation and little scavenging of the Sue skeleton—it was buried beneath tonnes of sediment before it had a chance to be dismembered. And in any case, the fossils of creatures found with Sue do not so much indicate that they all lived together, as long-agers presume, but were buried together. Since sharks’ teeth continually fall out and are replaced, these were likely in the sediment of the pre-Flood seafloor, picked up by the raging Flood currents and redeposited on land.
The fact that T. rex soft tissue has been discovered in the same formation is testament to the recent deposition of the sediments, rather than the supposed 67.5 MY age for the Hell Creek formation.
More questions are raised in the paper by the authors’ belief that the Sue site was “likely” a “meandering river channel.” However, they admit that “no geologic evidence exists of a channel”, rather, the local geology consists of “alternating layers of mud-rich sediment containing leaf fossils and sandy siltstone.”2 The ‘layer-cake’ nature of the local geology, combined with the chaotic nature of the fossil assemblage—including Sue—is not evidence of an “abundant aquatic community” as the authors theorize. Rather, the evidence is consistent with this fossil graveyard having been formed within the global Flood of Noah’s day.
Evidence consistent with the Bible
1)While trying to demonstrate shark evolution from these teeth, the researchers’ findings are fully consistent with biblical creation—sharks reproducing sharks (see “Sharks and evolutionary assumptions”).
2)The association of marine sharks, fresh-water animals and plants and T. rex, all mixed together in one location, is strong evidence consistent with Noah’s Flood.
3)The good preservation of the T. rex skeleton is consistent with it having been rapidly covered by sediment before it could be scavenged. This would require a truly catastrophic flood given its size.
4)The fact that another T. rex from the same Hell Creek formation contains soft tissue and intact biomolecules is ‘smoking-gun’ evidence that the entire formation is young and resulted from the Flood of Noah, around 4,500 years ago according to the true history of the Bible.
Sharks and evolutionary assumptions
The bulk of the paper discussed in the main article (ref. 2 in the main text) attempts to demonstrate supposed evolutionary relationships between the extinct species of sharks discovered at the Sue site. This was done by analyzing multiple minor variations in tooth shape and comparing them to similar living species so as to construct phylogenetic (evolutionary) tree diagrams, or “nested cladograms”.
The authors’ discussion of their computer analysis is virtually impenetrable to all but specialists, but it is readily apparent that ‘millions of years’ are built into the starting assumptions of their computer simulation. For example, this admission in the Material and Methods section of their paper (emphases added): “Living taxa were given ages either according to molecular estimates … , or the default value of 2MYA, whereas fossils were calibrated according to their data provided in Fossilworks.org.”1
Two different methods were employed to produce evolutionary trees, one of which the authors admitted “pushed many orectolobid [carpet shark] divergences between extant [still-living] species into the Paleogene or even Cretaceous.”1 In other words, depending on which parameters the authors adopted, it changed their simulation by up to 122 million years!2 CMI has pointed out that such methods simply beg the question, and are in no way independent support for evolution.3
In summary, the paper fails to show the evolution of sharks from a non-shark ancestor: at best the authors demonstrate only minor variation within the shark kind (from the shape of the teeth).
References and notes
- Gates et al., Ref. 2, main text.
- The Cretaceous period is believed to have occurred 145–66 million years ago (MYA); the Paleogene 66–23 MYA, making a maximum time-span of 122 MY.
- Doyle, S., Cladistics, evolution and the fossils, J. Creation 25(2):32–39, 2011; creation.com/cladistics.
References and notes
- Catchpoole, D., Double-decade dinosaur disquiet, Creation 36(1):12–14, creation.com/dino-disquiet. Return to text.
- Gates, T.A., Gorscak, E., and Makovicky, P.J., New sharks and other chondrichthyans from the latest Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) of North America, J. Paleontology, pp. 1–19, 21 Jan 2019. Return to text.
- Named after a spacecraft in the computer game Galaga, which supposedly resembles the teeth of the shark. Return to text.
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