Indian Dino Egg Stash

on October 10, 2009

BBC News: “Dinosaur Eggs Are Found in IndiaScientists have turned up dozens and dozens of dinosaur eggs in southern India, BBC News reports.

The discovery, like many, came by accident, as the team of geologists was busy excavating what they believe is an ancient riverbed. The large eggs are grouped in sandy nests but are covered with (interestingly enough) volcanic ash.

“We have got volcanic ash deposits on the eggs which suggests that volcanic activity could have caused their extinction.”

The find, which the scientists have labeled a “Jurassic treasure trove,” isn’t the first discovery of dinosaur eggs in that region of India; BBC News reports that dinosaur eggs were discovered in the region by a British geologist in the 1860s.

Team leader M. U. Ramkumar of Periyar University explained, “We have got volcanic ash deposits on the eggs which suggests that volcanic activity could have caused their extinction.” However, according to Ramkumar, the fact that the eggs exist in different layers “means the dinosaurs came to the place over and over year after year” (over millions of years, presumably).

Ramkumar continued, “The other thing we have found is that all these eggs are unhatched and infertile. So what made the eggs infertile? We need to carry out further studies to learn more from the findings.”

From a creationist point of view, the rock layers don’t represent millions of years of sediment accumulation; rather, many were laid down in quick succession during the Flood of Noah’s time or in a post-Flood catastrophe involving volcanism. Given this framework, the eggs may well have been contemporaneous (though we cannot say for sure without more details on the discoveries). If so, all of the eggs could have been laid near each other as they were (the nests belonging to a single herd— notes that hadrosaurs, at least, “seemingly nested in packs”); or, perhaps hydrodynamic forces resulted in the similarly sized eggs being deposited together.

This model better explains why so many dinosaur eggs would have been carefully preserved rather than having been scavenged—which would more likely be the case had the eggs been slowly fossilized over a long period of time. The Flood also explains a possible reason why the eggs are unhatched; rather than being necessarily infertile, the Flood could have preserved the eggs before they could hatch.

As for the volcanic ash, creationists have long spoke of spectacular volcanic activity that likely accompanied the catastrophic Flood year. Volcanoes would have been set off by tectonic activity (also well documented by creationists) and may have worked in conjunction with the opening of the “fountains of the great deep” (Genesis 7:11). Such a one-time catastrophe with extensive volcanic activity certainly seems more probable than separate volcanoes repeatedly affecting infertile dinosaur eggs over millions of years—and all neatly fossilized.

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