Fossil Footprints:

The way to find out how something happened is to examine the evidence, all the evidence, WITHOUT assuming a conclusion. When we do that what we'll find is that the only conditions that could result in dinosaur footprints being preserved as fossils were those that would result from a global flood as described in the Bible.

Dinosaur Track Preservation Background

Why Don't Your Feet Make Fossil Footprints?

Try a simple experiment. Go for a walk on the beach or through a mud puddle. You'll leave footprints. Come back a few days or a week later. What will you find? Nothing. Your tracks will be gone. The most common claim about dinosaur tracks is that dinosaurs came to a lake shore to drink or maybe hunt herbivores. They left tracks. Those tracks hardened in the sun and were buried in the next annual flood. How often is that observed happening today? Zero. Nadda. It doesn't happen. No fossilized tracks.

Yet there are over a billion of fossilized dinosaur tracks all over the world!

What does it take to fossilize a dinosaur footprint? Basically the following:

(1) The dinosaur needs to step in mud, or wet sand, such that its foot leaves an impression.

(2) The footprints must be buried gently, so they are not destroyed by sediment laden water flowing over them. For example, rapidly flowing water, or wave action, will wipe away the footprints. They must also be buried quickly and deeply to protect them from being destroyed by rain, weather, trampling by other animals, drying and crumbling, or other environmental conditions.

(3) The sediment must lithify (turn to stone) while retaining the footprint impression.

The Track Evidence Part 1

The Track Evidence - Connecticut River Valley

Let's look at the dinosaur tracks in the Connecticut River Valley where our tracks came from.

(a) Tracks are found on flat bedding planes with no vegetation. That's not only unusual, it's weird. This is true around the world. Tracks are found on flat mud plains, with no vegetation, often covering an area of several miles. For example, in the region where the dinosaur tracks we have come from, interstate highway construction and even home building routinely turns up dinosaur tracks. They are found along the Connecticut River for over 50 miles, and even for more than 2-3/4 miles east of the river. All on what was originally flat, muddy ground, and having no fossilized vegetation (except for the Nash Quarry). Nothing like this is seen today.

(b) The vegetation at the Nash Quarry is unusual, mainly small branches and stems, and small roots. No leaves. No grasses. And it's all broken into small pieces. It appears to be vegetation that was carried in from somewhere else. There are no signs of vegetation growing in the mud the dinosaurs stepped in.

(c) The tracks do not reveal hunting behavior. And, for all practical purposes there are no herbivore tracks. All carnivores. What did they eat? There usually needs to be a ratio of at least 10 to 15 herbivores for every carnivore. We don't see that. No one has actually counted, but the ratio is probably in the range of maybe one herbivore track for at least every 200 to 250 carnivore tracks (per a conversation with Kornell Nash). It is claimed they ate fish. But only a couple of small fish fossils have been found near the dinosaur tracks. And there are no signs of fish eating behavior in the tracks.

(d) At Nash's Quarry they have dug up tracks from about six vertical feet and thousands of fine (thin) layers of sediment. Throughout all of these layers the same type of tracks are found, layer after layer after layer. The quality varies as the quality of sediment varies but, as Kornell Nash answered when asked were to look for tracks, "It doesn't matter where I dig, there will be tracks." The same type of dinosaur kept walking here while at least six feet of sediment built up. Does that sound like a lake shore? No.

None of this is normal. None of this is what we see happening today.

Evidence Around THe World

Evidence From Around The World

What do we notice about tracks around the world?

(a) Tracks are found on flat bedding plains with no vegetation.

(b) Trackways typically go in straight lines.

(c) Many tracksites are dominated by carnivores, with few herbivores.

(d) Some dinosaur tracks are found in marine deposits, as though the dinosaurs were walking underwater.

(e) Some dinosaur tracks are found in coal, which supposedly forms at the bottoms of swamps. Not a place a dinosaur could walk and leave footprints.

(none that we know of in the Connecticut Valley) are made by dinosaurs who have a body plan that indicates they were poor swimmers. For example, triceratops. Essentially all tracks are made by dinosaurs that have a body plan that indicates they had some ability to swim.

Image credit: Footwarrior, modified to add text, CC License.

Dinosaur track evidence

The Evidence Points to a Global Flood

The evidence points to a global flood that quickly deposited massive amounts of sediment. That would explain, for example, the flat bedding plains that go on for miles with no vegetation.

Looking at the evidence at Nash's Quarry where we can see six vertical feet of sediment (and probably more), all with the same dinosaur footprints, some questions come to mind:

Is it normal for six feet of sediment to build up on a lake shore? No. What is observed is that as sediment is added to the shoreline, the lake becomes smaller. The shoreline moves toward the center of the lake. In addition, the conditions in which footprints can be made in mud only exist in a narrow strip along the shore. Too far away from the lake and the dirt is not wet enough. Too close and the mud is too wet and soft. So as the sediment builds up year after year, what should be observed is a diagonal pattern through the vertical distance in the sediment, as the shoreline moved further into the lake. Instead what is seen is a water level that is moving upward in elevation as massive amounts of sediment were deposited simultaneously through out the area. That could only happen as a result of a flood on the scale of the flood described in the Bible.

A global flood also explains why there is no vegetation. If dinosaur tracks were preserved by annual local floods, there should be some evidence of vegetation growing. Plants take root quickly. Even in concrete sidewalks it takes continual maintenance to keep the vegetation out. All it takes is a tiny crack and something sprouts. With a Biblical flood the sediment would be accumulating too quickly, in most cases, for vegetation to sprout.

Why so many carnivores and few herbivores? In Biblical flood conditions the carnivores would have eaten all of the herbivores that were available. The rising waters would isolate groups of dinosaurs, some of which would have included carnivores. The result would be that all the herbivores would be eaten, leaving only carnivores as we see in the footprint record.

Why are no body fossils found? The explanation is that the chemical composition of the sediment dissolved bone, leaving no skeletal remains. Yet, large numbers of fish fossils are found in some parts of the valley. And there are a lot of fossil impressions of vegetation at the Nash Quarry.

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