T. Rex Cousin Evolved 60 Million Years Too Early | The Institute for Creation Research
T. Rex Cousin Evolved 60 Million Years Too Early

The most popular dinosaur is probably Tyrannosaurus rex, a Latin term that loosely translates as “king lizard.” Based on evolutionary assumptions, scientists have long held that these dinosaurs lived for “only” 3 million years, approximately 68 to 65 million years ago. A fossil looking remarkably like a small version of T. rex, however, has been located in a much lower rock layer.1 Using the evolutionary dates assigned to the relevant strata, this adds 60 million years to the T. rex timeline. If the evolutionary interpretation was this wrong about one creature, can it be trusted on the rest of the fossil record?

Nicknamed Raptorex, this comparatively small dinosaur shared with T. rex “a proportionately large skull, incisiform premaxillary teeth, expanded jaw-closing musculature, diminutive forelimb, and a hindlimb with cursorial proportions,” according to a report recently published in Science.1

The Lower Cretaceous rocks that Raptorex was found in have been assigned a date of approximately 125 million years. But that would mean that this mini-T. rex was unaware that its body plan was not supposed to have evolved for another 60 million years. Paleontologist and report co-author Stephen Brusatte admitted fossils like this “totally throw us for a curve” and are “completely unexpected.”2 A similar find was made recently in Japan of teeth from a mid-sized T. rex discovered in rock dated at 140 million years.3

Because of finds like these, evolutionary history must accommodate tyrannosauroids (dinosaurs sharing the same core features as the T. rex) having evolved suddenly 140 million years ago, living virtually unchanged in form for 65 million years, then going extinct for an unknown reason. But with such an unimaginably long time for mutations to have been selected, how was it possible for these creatures to have remained so similar if the evolutionary scenario is correct?4

If the vast majority of tyrannosauroid fossils were deposited during the one-year Flood of Noah, however, when “all flesh died that moved upon the earth,”5 then it would stand to reason that their remains—preserved across extensive vertical strata—together represent a snapshot of animals that existed at that time but in different habitats, rather than a record of creatures that died over eons. The distribution of marine fossils in lower layers and terrestrial forms higher up corresponds not to long ages of evolution, but to successive waves or stages of the Flood as the waters encroached higher and higher until the land was totally inundated.

The biblical historical framework offers no reason why the rock layer that this new tyrannosauroid was found in, or that of the Japanese T. rex teeth, should be “completely unexpected.” On the contrary, it fits perfectly with the Genesis record of the Flood.

References

  1. Sereno, P. C. et al. 2009. Tyrannosaurid Skeletal Design First Evolved at Small Body Size. Science. Published online September 17, 2009, accessed September 18, 2009. 
  2. Ansari, A. Tiny T rex fossil discovery startles scientists. CNN. Posted on cnn.com September 17, 2009, accessed September 18, 2009.
  3. Thomas, B. 2009. T. Rex Teeth Take a Bite Out of Evolution. ICR News. Posted on icr.org July 17, 2009, accessed September 18, 2009.
  4. The same problem for evolution is distinct in the case of tuataras. See Thomas, B. 2009. Why Are There Still Tuataras? ICR News. Posted on icr.org August 12, 2009, accessed September 18, 2009.
  5. Genesis 7:21.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on September 29, 2009.

The Latest
NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...

APOLOGETICS
Transmitting Truth in a Modern Pagan World
We share the world with modern pagans who worship the sun—or idolize an imagined primordial Big Bang—so we need to be truth witnesses unto...

ACTS & FACTS
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Hunters in the 1970s discovered mammoth bones exposed in sediments near the confluence of the Bosque and Brazos Rivers in north central Texas. They...

ACTS & FACTS
Three Hurdles for Evolution
Sure, finch beaks shift their shapes, but does that mean nature invented beaks and birds from stardust? Evolution’s proponents often speak as...