June 19, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

Mating Turtles Fossilized Instantly

Evolutionary paleontologists have a mystery on their hands: how did turtles in the act of mating become fossilized?

Most of the news media are amusing themselves with prurient attention on turtle sex, using double entendres and French or Latin expressions to remind themselves that “turtles do it,” too: “Palaeontologists catch turtles in flagrante,” PhysOrg headlined, while Live Science put up in bold type, “Coitus Interruptus: Ancient Turtle Sex Fossilized” (we’ll spare our readers further titillating examples of sexting as news).

A more obvious question reporters seem to be skipping over is, how quickly would an animal have to be buried to be preserved in the sex act?  The BBC News article showed a photograph of the exquisite preservation of one of the pairs of fossils claimed to be 47 million years old.  About nine pairs have been found at the Messel Pit in Germany, most of them apparently in mating positions.

Evolutionary paleontologists were not without a turtle tale to tell.  The BBC News article told it this way:

Researchers think the turtles had initiated sex in the surface waters of the lake that once existed on the site, and were then overcome as they sank through deeper layers made toxic by the release of volcanic gases.

The animals, still in embrace, were then buried in the lakebed sediments and locked away in geological time.

Notwithstanding the romantic visions in this tale, wouldn’t turtles drifting downward in a toxic lake have become separated?  Wouldn’t their bodies have decayed on the bottom before enough sediments could bury them?  Only Nature News mentioned reasons why this explanation makes little sense:

Edwin Cadena, a doctoral student in palaeontology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, agrees that the study shows “strong evidence to consider this the first case of coupling captured in the fossil record of vertebrates”. More controversial, he says, is the interpretation of what the Messel lake was like. The notion of a stratified lake works as an explanation for the turtles’ fate, Cadena says, “but not so well for other fossils found at Messel, for example bats or birds or even other small mammals”. If the upper layers of the lake were inhabitable, Cadena asks, then what caused the death of airborne and terrestrial animals? The turtles are just part of an ongoing fossil mystery.

That was the last sentence: they left it as a mystery.

These specimens add to a long list of fossils showing nearly instantaneous burial: ichthyosaurs trapped while giving birth, fish caught while swallowing other fish, fish with undigested small fish in their stomachs.  How many seconds does turtle sex take?  Are we to believe they remained in mating posture long enough to sink to the bottom of a lake and wait to be buried, even if poisons in the water killed them on the way down? Wouldn’t Tom Turtle shout, “Gasp! I can’t breathe!” and disengage from Myrtle Turtle?  We can’t assume turtles would have the same priorities as humans.

Rapid burial with exquisite preservation as found in this and so many other fossils speaks of catastrophic conditions.  Since the evolutionists can only offer made-up stories and mysteries, let their explanations be ruled out in favor of explanations that can account for the observations.  Remember that “geological time” is a moyboy* phrase that locks away evolutionary mysteries out of sight, out of mind.

*A moyboy is someone who thinks that “millions of years, billions of years” solves every problem in evolutionary theory.



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  • Donald Holliday says:

    This is not at all hard to figure unless you’ve got an Ideological Ax to grind with the idea of being accountable to a higher power.

    Now the interesting thing I have always noticed is that ALL INTACT WHOLE FOSSILS were instantaneously kiiled in an extinction event that not only came suddenly, but instantly burried intact the entire body.

    I was watching the Baby Mammoth Autopsy on Discovery I believe and just as suspected, it had silt in it’s lungs indicating how it died by drowning. The problem was that they created an animated fable to illustrate their religiosity of how they wanted this baby to die. The mythical tale starts out with this baby crossing a river behind it’s mother and the others in the herd. The baby gets stuck in some sort of primordial muck type of quicksand and dies. Now it doesn’t take a genius to understand that such an accident would run into predation by scavengers to pick apart what is left of the carcass and even if that didn’t happen surely microbiological components would have done their dirty work on the carcass. This baby was suddenly without warning burred by drowning in flood debris which as radical changes in weather in that part of the climate would have done, also quickly flash froze it from severe weather downdrafts from the upper atmosphere as the normal hydrological cycle was suddenly disrupted, and that’s no matter how one chooses to argue it.

    This same phenomena is found around the world with every sudden burial events like Axel Heiberg & Ellesmere Islands and even those suddenly buried giant redwood trees found in lignite in Hungary. The wood was mummified. The force of whatever hit them snapped those huge trunks like toothpicks. But all other intact fossils died suddenly all at one. Otherwise common scavenging and other degradation would clearly be evident and it’s NOT!

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