The Dinosaur Mummy
by Brian Thomas, M.S. *
We often think that mummies are only found in Egypt, but they have been discovered all over the world. They aren’t always human, either.
A mummified dinosaur fossil was found by amateur researchers in 2000 in Malta, Montana. Due to the mummification process it underwent, it retained original skin impressions with possibly some of the original tissue still intact.1 Dubbed “Leonardo,” this hadrosaur is “the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered,” and even has a mummified stomach containing magnolia, fern, and conifer vegetation. The Discovery Channel aired a program about Leonardo on September 15, 2008.2
Leonardo has puzzled researchers for years, and paleopathologist Arthur Aufderheide of the University of Minnesota at Duluth, an expert in mummified remains, was called in to help answer some important questions about the fossil, including: “Why did nothing eat him? Why did his flesh and internal structures not rot away like virtually every other fossil ever found up until Leonardo?”1
They might mystify old earth adherents, but Leonardo’s uniquely preserved remains do not surprise creation scientists. The creation model, which factors in the probable violent effects of the worldwide Noachian Flood described in Scripture, seems to provide a better explanatory paradigm than a slow-and-gradual evolutionary view.
Creation scientists have proposed that one of the Flood’s effects could have been “hypercanes,” or mega-hurricanes that were unchecked by land masses.3 This seems to match a current theory regarding the fossils found near Leonardo:
Dr. David Eberth of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada has said that a massive extinction occurred when hurricanes, starting in what was then the Gulf of Mexico, traveled through a shallow ocean….They grew stronger and created storm surges, including in what is now Montana, which created massive flooding that would have killed everything, Iacuzzo said….“That's one theory on why you find so many complete skeletons in that area.”1
This evidence in Montana of super-sized hurricanes and catastrophic burial could well be a local manifestation of a global catastrophic event like the Flood. This, in turn, gives support to biblical historical accounts, which adds to our confidence that the Scripture is trustworthy and accurate on whatever topic it touches.
- Hollingsworth, J. Duluth professor tells the secrets of a mummified dinosaur. Duluth News-Tribune. Posted on Twincities.com September 11, 2008, accessed September 18, 2008.
- Unveil the "Holy Grail" of Paleontology in Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy. “About the Show” news item posted on discovery.com, accessed September 18, 2008.
- Vardiman, L. 2005. Evidence for a Young Earth from the Ocean and Atmosphere. Acts & Facts. 34 (10).
Photo showing Leonardo's right side, by David Portnoy/Getty Images for Discovery Communications LLC
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.
Article posted on September 25, 2008.