May 13, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Dinosaur Boneyard: Dying Together Implies Living Together, Not Much Else

(Guest article)  CNN reported in an article from Associated Press that scientists have uncovered a small cache of dinosaur bones that contains bones from no other animals, and in their excitement have concluded that this means they must have hunted in packs.

One expert called the discovery the first substantial evidence of group living by large meat-eaters other than tyrannosaurs like T. rex.  The creature, which apparently measured more than 40 feet long, is called Mapusaurus roseae.  The discovery of Mapusaurus included bones from at least seven to nine of the beasts, suggesting the previously unknown animal may have lived and hunted in groups.  That hunting strategy might have allowed it to attack even bigger beasts, huge plant-eating dinosaurs…  Coria noted the dig showed evidence of social behavior in Mapusaurus.  The excavation found hundreds of bones from several Mapusaurus individuals but none from any other creature.  That suggests the animals were together before they died, Coria said.  Perhaps they hunted in packs, though there is no direct evidence for that, he said in an e-mail.  Currie, in a statement from his university, speculated that pack hunting may have allowed Mapusaurus to prey on the biggest known dinosaur, Argentinosaurus, a 125-foot-long plant-eater.  Holtz called the finding the first substantive evidence of group living by giant two-legged carnivores other than tyrannosaurs. It’s not clear whether the animals cooperated in hunting, as wolves or lions do, or simply mobbed their prey or just gathered around after one of them made a kill, he said.

Dinosaur bones are often found in large jumbled collections of many different animals and species, just as one would expect if they were buried in a catastrophic flood.  This collection of bones is no different in that respect: it is a jumble of bones from “seven to nine beasts,” indicating that they are fairly disordered, since not even the total number of animals is certain.

The only difference between this find and others is that there were no other animal bones mixed in, and yet this is called “substantial evidence” of group living.  Some scientists feel a need to answer questions that are beyond the ability of piles of bones to answer, such as the behavior of these animals.  This leads to unjustified speculations such as those found here.  Notice the large amount of qualifiers in the above excerpt: might have, suggests, speculated.  Such just-so stories add an air of respectability to the Big Story: Evolution, but the only real facts we have here are that a jumble of bones was found, all of the same species, all in one place, and with no other species mixed in.  If you took off Old Earth glasses and put on Young Earth glasses, you would see just what one would expect the Genesis Flood to produce.
—Don K.

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Categories: Dinosaurs, Fossils

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