Veterinarian-turned-paleontologist Cynthia Marshall Faux has a new hypothesis to explain the “often” awkward positions of fossilized dinosaurs. Faux and a colleague say brain damage and suffocation are likely culprits.
Previously, the unusual burial postures of such fossils as Archaeopteryx were thought to be due to the action of water currents repositioning dead dinosaurs, or the effect of rigor mortis and body desiccation “contorting” the carcasses.
What catastrophe would have led to mass drownings?
However, that hypothesis failed to explain “[v]irtually all articulated specimens of Archaeopteryx,” which “[exhibit] a classic pose of head thrown back, jaws open, back and tail reflexed backward and limbs contracted,” explains Kevin Padian professor of integrative biology at the University of California–Berkeley. Sudden suffocation and burial explains the position and, as Padian puts it, cast “a whole new light on the mode of death of these animals, and interpretation of the places they died in.” Even so, Padian admits that many dinosaur fossils do indeed “show signs that the animal died in water and the current tugged the body into an arched position.”
Although the study authors point to volcanic activity as one possible cause for the creatures' asphyxiation, drowning also involves asphyxiation leading to hypoxia. What catastrophe would have led to mass drownings, consistent with both evidence of water currents moving carcasses and evidence of asphyxiation in since-fossilized creatures? A global flood, of course
Let’s just say that these scientists have done an excellent job helping corroborate the story of an extremely wet event that the Bible records, and no, it’s not the parting of the Red Sea! Read Genesis 6.
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