Dinosaur Footprint Wall in Bolivia

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A recent article highlighted the Cal Orcko archaeological site in Bolivia. This site in South America has numerous, well-preserved dinosaur footprints (originally listed as over 5,000), and another 5,000 tracks were discovered in 2015. Some of the dinosaurs that left these footprints were Ankylosaurs, Titanosaurs, Carnotaurus, and a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex.

These fossilized dinosaur footprints were originally discovered in 1985, but local mining of the limestone in the area has brought many more prints to light, starting in 1994. The area is now an official Bolivian paleontological site and an application has been submitted to designate it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But even more interesting is that the footprints are not on flat ground but rather on an almost vertical wall; and the vast majority seem to be moving in one direction (downhill as the geography now stands). Now this is a region that has had lots of tectonic activity in the recent past, so this was probably flat ground at the time the dinosaurs were making the tracks.

Of course what makes this intriguing from a biblical creation and Flood geology perspective is that the tracks are preserved so well, and that we see a diverse grouping of what were considered to be both herbivores and carnivores. We also have tracks from juvenile dinosaurs—some alone and others side by side with adults of the same species. A couple of quotes about the Cal Orcko archaeological site from the Guardian website really stood out:

That ankylosaur was running. It sank its four toes into the ground, rather than its heel. . . .

The creatures' feet sank into the soft shoreline in warm damp weather, leaving marks that were solidified by later periods of drought. Wet weather then returned, sealing the prints below mud and sediment. The wet-dry pattern was repeated seven times, preserving multiple layers of prints. The cherry on the cake was added when tectonic activity pushed the flat ground up to a brilliant viewing angle—as if nature was aware of its tourism potential.

So we have running dinosaurs and what appears to be alternating periods of water covering the sand flats and then receding for a short time, only to cover the area once again. This sounds a lot like an area where dinosaurs may have been fleeing rising floodwaters, which brought the sediment to quickly cover and preserve the footprints the fleeing dinosaurs left behind.

Dr. Andrew Snelling, geologist and AiG’s director of research, had this to say:

All claims about the environment in which these dinosaurs lived and how they left their footprints are mere speculation (i.e., based on historical science, not observational science), because no scientists were there at the time to observe and report to us what happened. So it is hardly an observed fact that this was a lake. But what we do observe is that these footprints were made in a sandy limestone, and that in that same limestone are the fossilized remains of snails, bivalves, fish, turtles and crocodiles.1 Furthermore, we know from observations that animals and footprints are not fossilized in lime sand that slowly accumulates and is exposed even for a brief period to bacteria, and the sun, wind and waves. Rapid accumulation and rapid burial are required. And lime sand is usually produced by turbulent ocean waters. Yet dinosaurs are land-dwellers. Thus these fossils of water-dwelling animals and fossilized dinosaur footprints found in this sandy limestone are consistent with the Flood cataclysm, when the rising ocean waters swept rapidly over the land in oscillating surges, repeatedly engulfing fleeing land animals as it buried their footprints with water-dwelling animals. These fossilized dinosaur footprints testify to these dinosaur herbivores and carnivores being more interested in fleeing en masse in one direction to escape the destructive waters than their next meal.

Yet again we see evidence of the Flood that God sent as a judgment for mankind’s wickedness (Genesis 6:17) and of the Ark that He had Noah build—a reminder to us today of another Ark of salvation, Jesus Christ. These fossilized footprints stand as a reminder that observational science always confirms the Bible.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

Footnotes

  1. See Martin Lockley et al., “Titanosaurid Trackways from the Upper Cretaceous of Bolivia: Evidence for Large Manus, Wide-Gauge Locomotion and Gregarious Behaviour,” Cretaceous Research 23, no. 3 (June 2002): 383–400, doi:10.1006/cres.2002.1006.

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