Thousands of Dinosaur Tracks Found in Alaska

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Posted on September 26, 2013 in Birds, Darwin and Evolution, Dating Methods, Dinosaurs, Fossils, Geology

Nearly inside the Arctic Circle along the Yukon River, thousands of dinosaur tracks have been found – one of several surprising discoveries about dinosaurs.

The facts:  Live Science and Alaska Public published the story; see also NBC News.  The tracks are in the form of “casts” in which cemented mud formed within the hollowed-out footprints.  A great diversity of dinosaur types were found during a 500-mile expedition along the Yukon River. Some of them show claw marks at the tips of the toes.  In addition, the area yielded fossils of “a lot of plant fossils, leaves from broad-leaved trees and different types of conifers.”  In some places, the explorers were able to find 50 specimens in 10 minutes.  None of the local villagers were aware of the tracks.  “This and all of the other material that we found was just a complete surprise, because no one expected anything like this was out there,” Pat Druckenmiller, curator of earth sciences at the Museum of the North, said.

The interpretations:  The discoverers believe the tracks are 25 to 30 million years older than other tracks found in Denali National Park and along the Colville River in Alaska, which are considered 65 to 80 million years old.  The tracks are believed to be from both carnivores and herbivores, some from ankylosaurs.  The discoverers say Alaska was farther north when the tracks were made, but was in a warming period at the time.  Druckenmiller commented that a find of this magnitude is rare in the 21st century.

Other dinosaur news

Virtual realityScience Daily reported that a re-analysis of Psittocosaurus dinosaur skulls shows that three ‘species’ are actually one.  They looked different because of the way they had been buried and compressed in the strata; they were “apparent” species, not “biological” species.  A member of the Penn State team said, “how an animal’s body was crushed as it fossilized – from the top, from the side or twisted – could lead to inaccurate species determinations.

Evolving realityPhysOrg announced, “Research is challenging basic assumptions about dinosaurs—and greatly expanding the number of known species.”  Within the city of Edmonton, Alberta—a hotspot region for dinosaur remains—students from the University of Alberta are unearthing bones from a dozen species of dinosaurs in a fossil graveyard.

Work by researchers based at the U of A has challenged many basic assumptions about dinosaursproving that some had feathers and that even the giant predators sometimes travelled in herds—while greatly expanding the number of known species and, occasionally, even pruning and grafting the dinosaur family tree.

Nothing more was said about the feathers in the article, except an illustration of Anchiornis fully fledged out with colorful feathers and a caption that said U of Alberta paleontologist Phil Currie helped identify them.  What the article doesn’t say is that Anchiornis was discovered in China, not in Canada.

It’s so, so, so very important to learn to distinguish the facts from the interpretations.  Evolutionists toss around millions of years like confetti, merely assuming that natural selection will use all those years to create amazing and wonderful creatures.  They’re basically stuffing their ignorance into vast dark spaces of unobservable assumptions.

This last article was very misleading.  It said scientists “proved” dinosaurs had feathers, sneaking in a bird from China!  Even Wikipedia says the one pictured is a bird: “As in other early paravians such as Microraptor, Anchiornis had large wings, made up of pennaceous flight feathers attached to the arm and hand (as in modern birds) as well as flight feathers on the hind legs, forming an arrangement of fore and hind wings.”  This was no dinosaur!  We have skin impressions from many dinosaurs, and they were scaly, not feathery.  The fuzzy impressions around some dinosaur fossils could be flayed collagen, some researchers believe, disputing the notion they are “protofeathers.”  True flight feather impressions are only found on fossil birds.

As usual, none of the articles discussed the most dramatic discovery about dinosaurs of the last century: soft tissue in dinosaur bones.  Have you seen dinosaur hunter Jack Horner’s response to Mary Schweitzer’s surprise discovery of stretchy blood vessels and red blood cells in a T. rex bone?  Watch it on a 60 Minutes episode on YouTube.  It says a lot about human nature when facts confront belief.  In CMI’s documentary, The Voyage that Shook the World. Phil Currie remarked that scientists tend to see what they expect to see,and can miss seeing unexpected facts right before their eyes.  It has happened to him, he said.

Since Schweitzer’s spectacular, surprising, “impossible” announcement, other soft tissue remains have been found in dinosaur bones even older.  Mark Armitage just published a paper about osteocytes and other bone cells he found in a Triceratops horn using electron microscopes.  Nobody had found this material before, because scientists just “knew” dinosaur fossils were too old to leave any tissue remains.  Some of the Colville River dinosaur remains were found unfossilized.  Mummified dinosaur skin has been unearthed.  Some dinosaur remains contain carbon-14.  Any one of these finds should be impossible for millions of years.  The reasonable interpretation is that the dinosaurs perished catastrophically not that long ago.  In spite of multiple falsification-scale anomalies, the Darwinian story of dinosaur evolution over millions of years survives, a testimony to the power of academia’s chosen belief in secular naturalism, buttressed by a fawning, obedient press.

 

30 Comments

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

Dr Coppedge

Tas Walker is offering a fact-free claim — not found in your article — that these dinosaur tracks in Alaska were formed as the creatures tried to outrun ‘Noah’s Flood’ (strange how extinct creatures could be threatened by a claimed flood less than 5,000 years ago).
http://biblicalgeology.net/blog/dinosaurs-caught-fleeing-rising-waters-of-noahs-flood-along-the-yukon-river-alaska/

I will attempt to flag this article under his.

A H-R

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley: So what is your answer to the soft tissue evidence? Did you watch Schweitzer and Horner on the YouTube clip?

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

So do you agree with Tas Walker’s claim? Unlike you I will try to answer the implied question (OK I did not spell it out)!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039grrx
I watched this programme recently; nothing convinced me that the T Rex must have died during the Bronze Age or Iron Age.

Blogger Eye on the ICR has also blogged in details on the soft tissues issue, late in 2012. For instance: http://eyeonicr.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/how-to-preserve-a-dinosaur-cell/
(Contamination has been ruled out.)

I’ve watched this somewhat elderly pro-ID video now:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee-F3SyEOgY

Schweitzer is said to be a Christian believer but rejects the YEC paradigm because the evidence from the past — taken as a whole — points elsewhere.

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley,
Well, if facts don’t convince you, there’s nothing for me to say, other than I hope you will let the data do the convincing next time, not the spin doctors of the Darwin Party, who only regurgitated their biases in the links you sent, or told stories with lots of coulda-woulda-shoulda wiggle words. Talk about “fact-free”. The only constant in their material is the unflagging commitment to evolutionary ages. Why do you call the YouTube video “elderly pro-ID”? That’s Schweitzer herself talking, with interviewers on 60 minutes! Her private views on religion or YEC are irrelevant. Look at the pictures! Look at the data! You’re leaning on other people for their views. I asked what is your answer. Do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that that soft biological material is 68 million years old? How could you possibly know that? Why would anyone ever believe that, if they did not have a prior commitment to the Darwinian timeline? Look how surprised they were. They never predicted it. They never looked for it, but there it was. Impossible! they said. “Jumping to conclusions at this point – especially creationist positions – is just silly,” your blogger friend said. That’s just his biased opinion. I could turn that around and call his statement silly. Maybe we need a blogger named “Eye on Eye on the ICR.” Such posturing accomplishes little. LOOK AT THE DATA.

Tas Walker’s article was not part of this one, so it is irrelevant. The soft tissue evidence was relevant. No need to get snippy with “Unlike you” sarcasm. Stick to the material in this article, keeping in mind the comments are not a soapbox, nor a forum for endless back-and-forth discussions that go nowhere.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

What ‘facts’?

We know from other evidence, scientific and historical, that Earth and the universe are NOT 6,000 years old. Nor were hills submerged in water during the last 5,000 years. YECs are in denial over all that. They insist that Genesis is ‘infallible history’.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

Feel free to delete but you may wish to READ my post here at 4.47 pm BST on 28.09.13.
http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2967&p=47338#p47338

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley: So the view under Schweitzer’s microscope is not a fact? Are you in denial of what you can see with your own eyes? Our article was not about YEC views, but about clear, visible evidence presented by non-YECs.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

Trying to put words into my mouth I see, David. Typical YEC behaviour.

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley: So, it’s clear you were fishing for statements you could post to your Darwin Party friends at BCSE for a mock fest. I was trying to reason with you about Schweitzer’s facts, and now you claim you can’t reason with me, then you run off to the safety of your support group. I asked you a direct question: “Do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that that soft biological material is 68 million years old? How could you possibly know that? Why would anyone ever believe that, if they did not have a prior commitment to the Darwinian timeline?” Regurgitating your opinion about what you think you “know” about the age of the Earth is not a rational response. Answer the question.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

“Do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that that soft biological material is 68 million years old?”

YES, I do.

I have never implied otherwise.

You accused me of not being convinced/able to be convinced by ‘facts’. You now accuse me of ‘running off’. Both are lies. As is your claim that I am not being ‘rational’. But I suspect all this is mostly ‘playing to the gallery’ for those US Christians who trust YEC ‘experts’. I’ve seen that plenty of times before, [name deleted, since not part of this discussion] being one of the worst offenders.…[URLs deleted, since irrelevant to this discussion].

[Disagreement with another deleted, since not part of this discussion.]

You also betray that you are anti-science by your silly ‘Darwin Party’ comments.

If you wish to challenge me at the BCSE community forum, it is open to ALL. And I don’t post about people there behind their back, I do it openly ie I TELL them (unlike some of the YECs who occasionally post about me on their blogs where all questioning comments are verboten so there’s no right of reply) .

Editor September 26, 2013

Another dodge. Another ad hominem. Another big lie. Another generality. Answer the question!
YOU were the one who used “denial” on me. You apparently cannot tolerate someone turning your words back on you.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

I HAVE ANSWERED THE QUESTION, DAVID.

Can’t you understand written English? Re-read my last response.

I shall resist the temptation to flag your idiocy and lies again at the BCSE community forum — assuming this (saved) reply is not deleted.

Editor September 26, 2013

Calm down, Ashley; you posted your answer AFTER I answered your prior post, which I thought was your complete answer. It was a matter of messages crossing in the ether. That is no reason to call me a liar and an idiot–another case of ad hominem attacks. If you continue using ad hominems, you will be censored on THAT basis– not for matters of reason or fact. I will respond to your answer.

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley,
I’m sure our readers are delighted to learn how fair you are in your postings. They notice how sweetly you call them liars and idiots.

OK, so your answer to my question is YES. Thank you. You did not, however, explain any justification for that answer. So far it is an unsupported assertion, a mere statement of belief. Suppose you were to claim the sky is green, and I showed clear evidence it was blue. Would anyone be impressed if I asked, “Do you, in your heart of hearts, believe the sky is green?” and you gave a similar kind of answer: “YES, I do. I have never implied otherwise.”

You leaned on others to justify the millions of years, like your anonymous blogger, who used “MAY” a dozen times for his “potential solution” involving “CONCEIVABLE [imaginary] reasons why the soft tissue COULD have survived so long” but in the end was “undecided” about “whether or not they would be possible given the timeframe, as I do not know nearly enough about the subject to make a definitive judgement”. Like I said, it’s full of wiggle words. What’s clear here is the unflagging faith in millions of years. The “suggestions” about how it “may have” or “could have” survived that long are the caboose, not the engine driving the response.

You order me to read your entries, but then misread mine. You claim I called you “not rational.” I said your response was not rational. There’s a difference.

Then you went off on a rabbit trail about others you have disagreed with. Since they are not here to defend themselves, that material is not relevant. Comments must stick to the issues stated in the article. They are not a soapbox for one to vent one’s prejudices in generalities, red herrings, and ad hominems.

You claim I put words in your mouth, but then you put words in mine, asserting how old you think I believe the Earth is. This is the tactic of shifting the burden of proof. Because creationists were NOT surprised at the soft tissue, but evolutionists WERE so very surprised they thought it was IMPOSSIBLE, the burden is on them to prove it really is 68 million years old despite clear evidence that it looks fresh and young.

And so, Ms Rationality, since you told your BCSE support group that you can’t reason with “such people” as me, this implies you are a person of reason with some expertise. Alas, poor me, I “prefer nonsense claims,” am “being evasive,” I’m a person of “dogma” who is “in denial of the meaning of observable or measurable facts,” to say nothing of a liar and idiot. Since the advantage is clearly on your side, let’s have a little David and Goliath contest here, using reason alone. Catch my stone and throw it back: Where does reason come from?

Remember that further ad hominems will get you censored ON THAT BASIS. Your reasoned response to the question, however, is welcome. Our readers await.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

You are threatening me with censorship — yet it was clear to me from the timing of when your posts appeared that you were lying because your post which accused me of “another big lie” etc appeared AFTER I had written “YES, I do”.

I do not know why you are using Ad hominems such as ‘Ms Rationality’ when I am male — you wouldn’t be sexist would you? It’s all pretty pathetic how you use propagandist and emotive language, whilst accusing ME of Ad hominems.

In your latest response you imply that I misquoted you re the word ‘rational’. I did no such thing.

If you are not a young Earth creationist but alternatively label your rejection of evolution and embrace of creationism, I apologise. Perhaps creation.com, who are YECs, should be clearer in their website articles?

Once again you assume I was doing something underhand viz ‘shifting the burden of proof’ as you call it. NO — I made a rational assumption, in good faith and based on the available evidence. You have been questioning millions of years, have you not?

Perhaps you would enlighten me as to just HOW old you think Earth is?

I have just flagged your latest offerings at the BCSE community forum. You of course are free to flag them elsewhere if you so wish — or join us at the forum which is open to ALL.

I too can play to the gallery.

I am not going to answer all your latest questions (I answered the main question). Make of that what you wish.

I repeat I accused you of lying last night UK time in good faith. I note it took you quite a number of hours to make any kind of response and claim that posts somehow ‘crossed in the ether’ (rather than that you responded with your false allegations of last night before reading ALL my answers).

I have also read about your disagreements with NASA on Wikipedia.

PS Why are these posts dated ‘26’ September and not timed?

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley is usually a female name where I come from. Sorry.
If you are going to tell the world that you cannot reason with me, then you need to back that up by showing just how rational you are.
Where does reason come from?

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

Please re-read my last post.

Editor September 26, 2013

I read it. Now please re-read mine, and answer the question. Where does reason come from? You insulted me, saying you could not reason with me. Prove that you are capable of reason. You cannot just show up unannounced here, leave insults, and run. This is a discussion, in which you must take responsibility for your statements. Answer the question.

lux113 September 26, 2013

I feel like I’m intruding in a private conversation (a stimulating one I might add) but I wanted to contribute to this dinosaur age question.

I long time believed in the evolutionary story and also in the “accepted” timeline. Even after becoming a believer at the age of 25 I was still one of those “god used evolution to create man” middle ground, wishy washy Christians.

Then I heard a guy on the radio go through the issues he had with evolution.. At first I laughed my butt off saying “you gotta be kidding, this guy actually doesn’t believe in evolution!?! Everyone knows it’s true, it’s so obvious!” But then I started thinking about some of the things he said..

At this point I can’t necessarily recall what his arguments were back then.. I just remember some of the things I was thinking about as he stated it -

I remember thinking..“wait a second, I’ve seen so many of these paleontologists digging up dinosaur bones, and the dig is usually no deeper than say 20 ft. Not only that, they often have the majority of the dinosaur’s skeleton all in relatively the same spot!? And this skeleton has been buried for 50 million years?”

50 million years. Do you have any idea how long 50 million years is? No, you don’t, none of us do. Recorded history goes back about 4,000 years.. give or take 500. But we can use things we do know to give us an idea of just how immensely long 50 million years is. I’ve seen maps of the Great Lakes in Michigan going back to the late 1700’s / early 1800’s. The coastline has changed drastically in that 200 years. In 50 million years mountains would form or fall, rivers would change course, dry up into deserts, climate would change in major ways possibly dozens of times. It’s hard to say what all would happen.. especially when we’ve only been here a blink of an eye.

Bones would be unearthed and thrown for miles by storms and rain — or buried deep down — not just be hanging out close to the surface.. and especially not with most of the skeleton relatively intact. Maybe in one or two extremely lucky fossil situations.. but it would be very very rare..

50 million years. Think about it. Does the evidence match that timeline?

Peter L September 26, 2013

Interesting collection of links. Re the Colville River claim: is there any other information about that you can point to besides the “The bones are stained a dark red brown but otherwise display little permineralization, crushing, or distortion” line in the linked 1987 paper? I cannot find anything that amounts to some of the bones being “unfossilized” and therefore containing soft tissues.

You can start the “Eye on Eye on ICR” blog if you like, but that could get meta fast.

Editor September 26, 2013

lux113:
Please do your homework before making statements. No evolutionist believes dinosaurs died 50 million years ago. They claim they went extinct 65 million years ago. Also, there are fossil graveyards in which dinosaur bones are scattered (disarticulated), not always intact. It is not helpful or persuasive in a statement to say things that opponents do not believe. Take a moment to look up any facts/claims you are not sure of before writing about them. Your point about millions of years not being experienced and recorded by any human, though, is a good one.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

Lux113

The facts are ‘out there’ as they say:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_writing#Locations_and_timeframes (the history of writing)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-13914718 (marine fossils found 1,000 ft below an English city)
http://www.tonmo.com/forums/forum/cephalopod-fossils/general-cephalopod-fossil-discussions/3442-giant-nautilus-discovery-at-the-uk-channel-tunnel-1991 (large nautilus fossil unearthed during the construction of the Channel Tunnel)

Your point about millions of years not being experienced and recorded by any human, though, is a good one”. No honest human, and that means no evolutionists that I am aware of, claim that our species Homo sapiens has been around for millions of years. Other Homo species would have been around more than a million years ago, but — as far as scientists can tell from the fossil record — Homo sapiens appeared more recently. Thus humans could not possibly have ‘recorded’ millions of years ‘as they happened’.

Ashley

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley,
I think you missed lux113’s point. He isn’t asking evolutionists to regurgitate their beliefs. He is saying that millions of years is so beyond the experience of man, that it amounts to hypothetical imagination.

Note: comments are not for linking to other sites. I have let you get away with it, but from now on, state your comments in your own words.

Editor September 26, 2013

Peter L,
The only other information I am currently aware of on the Colville site is the experience that AIG explorers had, where they dug up unfossilized bones, as they described in their book, The Great Dinosaur Adventure. I also found mention of the site in Nature, as we reported here in 10/31/2007 (search on Colville), but unfortunately, the focus of the story was the difficulty of getting to and excavating the site, not the condition of the bones. There are 3 mentions of Colville at create.ab.ca. Keep in mind that “unfossilized” does not necessarily imply “containing soft tissues” such as Schweitzer found in hers, but if the bones display “little permineralization,” that suggests the original cellular material has not been completely replaced with rock. I think Mark Armitage’s recent finding of soft, flexible sheets of material in Triceratops horn deserves more consideration.

lux113 September 26, 2013

Thanks, that does state my point quite well. Also sorry about the 50 million year reference and I can see what you mean about how it greatly undermines my argument. Not sure why I was thinking 50 million, maybe Pangea?

When I made the comment I knew how the average evolutionist would respond and I knew it was not a strong argument for one major reason, I can’t prove it. There’s no way I can prove that over 65 million years you wouldn’t find dinosaur bones relatively close to the surface — or even the majority of a skeleton in a location. (yes, I know that most fossil finds are disarticulated.. most, but not all — there have been dinosaur digs with much of the skeleton intact).

Though the argument is weak simply from its lack of verifiable proof, I feel there’s an intuition that screams out “65 million years.. and the fossil is just right here beneath our feet?”

Intuition can be wrong — definitely — but you also have to take the rest of the information into consideration. Yes, they’ve found actual blood cells, skin.
Yes, there are fossilized trees that go through several strata.. Honestly, there’s a long list of reasons.. this was just one observation.

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

I see that the Editor has censored a brief, and I admit somewhat rushed, comment of mine very early today UK time which said “Your point about links is a silly one”.…

Editor September 26, 2013

lux113,
Less is more. Your posts are becoming rambling and speculative, and a subsequent attempt was biographical and irrelevant to this article. Read the rules:
http://crev.info/feedback/

Editor September 26, 2013

Read the posted rules:
http://crev.info/feedback/

ashleyhr September 26, 2013

I …

Editor September 26, 2013

Ashley: No more posts from you until you answer the question that is outstanding: where does reason come from?

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