alanf@tekig6.PEN.TEK.COM (Alan M Feuerbacher) Many creationists believe that animals lived

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alanf@tekig6.PEN.TEK.COM (Alan M Feuerbacher) <> Many creationists believe that animals lived at peace with one another before "Adam and Eve's fall into sin." But there is clear fossil evidence that this is not true. As far back as the geological record of macroscopic life goes there have been predators. Here is just one example. Direct evidence for predation can be seen in a photo on page 69 of the June 7, 1993 _U.S. News & World Report_. The caption reads: A Deadly Embrace. This prehistoric Protoceratops was fossilized as it battled to the death with the most fearsome predator in dinosaur times: a pack-hunting carnivore called a Velociraptor. Here is more history related to this find. According to _National Geographic,_ in 1964, John H. Ostrom of Yale Uni- versity's Peabody Museum of Natural History discovered an unusual fossil in Montana badlands, .... a small, totally new kind of dinosaur more than a hundred million years old. And the creature's fos- silized remains offered astounding clues to its life and habits. One such clue prompted the scientific name I later gave this peculiar beast: _Deinonychus,_ which means "terrible claw.".... _Deinonychus_'s sharp, serrated teeth revealed that it had been a car- nivore, and its skeletal structure indicated it belonged to the suborder of dinosaurs known as the Theropoda (meaning "beast foot"). Included among the theropods is perhaps the best known of all dinosaurs -- the giant, fearsome _Tyrannosaurus_ ("tyrant lizard"), which also stalked its prey across Montana, but some fifty million years after _Deinonychus...._ Compared to _Tyrannosaurus,_ _Deinonychus_ was a lightweight: 150 to 175 pounds, eight or nine feet from snout to tail tip, and standing only four to five feet high. Like all other theropods, _Deinonychus_ stood, walked, and ran on its hind legs like a large bird.... [The find] was evidence of a dinosaur very unlike the stereotyped picture of the slow-moving coldblooded reptiles. If anything, it was more like an oversize roadrunner. But the striking feature of _Deinonychus_ -- and the reason for its name -- was on its feet. All previ- ously known theropods had birdlike feet, but _Deinony- chus_ also had a huge, sicklelike bone more than three inches long on one toe of each foot. In life, sharp, curved, nail-like sheaths covered these claw bones and must have been four or five inches long. Obviously they served as weapons -- most probably to kill prey.... The arms and hands of _Deinonychus_ were another surprise. The long hands bore sharp claws designed for grasping. The wrist joints enabled the hands to turn toward each other, permitting precise grasping of prey by both hands working together -- something only man and certain other mammals can do. _Deinonychus_ almost certainly was a swift-footed predator that ran down its prey, seized it in its pow- erful hands, and then slashed at the belly and flanks of its victim with those razor-sharp talons. .... I was especially gratified to find my hypothe- sized killing techniques -- those slashing kicks of the foot talons at the belly of its victims -- con- firmed by colleagues halfway round the world. A team of paleontologists led by Dr. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska of the Institute of Paleobiology in Warsaw, Poland, made an incredible discovery in Mongolia's Gobi Desert in 1971. Her expedition, jointly sponsored by the Polish and Mongolian Academies of Sciences, uncovered the skeletons of two dinosaurs tangled together. One was the fairly well-known _Protoceratops,_ a calf-size plant eater with a turtlelike beak. The other was a rare, two-legged, near-man-size carnivore -- _Veloci- raptor_ ("swift robber"). These two animals had apparently killed each other, and their skeletons had been buried and preserved exactly as they died. _Velociraptor,_ like _Deinony- chus,_ had a large sicklelike talon on each hind foot, and it died with one of those foot claws embedded in the belly of _Protoceratops_ -- an amazing life-and- death drama from 80 million years ago! [John H. Ostrom, "A New Look At Dinosaurs," _National Geographic Magazine_, pp. 152-185, August, 1978] Another article said with regard to the conclusion the above mentioned theropod dinosaurs were predaceous: That conclusion has been dramatically verified by the discovery in 1971 (Kielan-Jaworowska and Barsbold, 1972) of a specimen of _Velociraptor mongoliensis_ that died in the act of killing a small _Protoceratops andrewsi._ The specimens are preserved with the hands of _Velociraptor_ clutching the skull of _Protocer- atops._ [John H. Ostrom, "Archaeopteryx and the Origin of Flight," _The Quarterly Review of Biology_, vol. 49, No. 1, p. 39, March 1974] This evidence dramatically shows the creationist con- tention that animals originally ate only vegetation and lived in peace with one another is wrong. Alan Feuerbacher


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