The discovery of a new fossil in northwest China sent shockwaves rippling through the secular paleontological world. The new sauropod (longneck) dinosaur called Lingwulong shenqi, or “amazing dragon from Lingwu” was excavated from an area and a sedimentary layer that secular science believed was both the wrong geological place and time for that fossil.1
Xing Xu, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his colleagues from University College London, Imperial College London, Natural History Museum, London, and several other institutions across China, reported their findings in Nature Communications.
One of their most surprising results was that the new dinosaur was found in rocks well below all other similar diplodocoid discoveries. This fossil stretches the global time span of sauropods to include the early Middle Jurassic—about 174 million years ago, according to secular thinking.2 However, most diplodocoids, and sauropods in general, do not appear in strata until the Late Jurassic System which was supposedly about 160 million years ago.
Co-author Paul Upchurch said,
Our discovery of Lingwulong demonstrates that several different types of advanced sauropod must have existed at least 15 million years earlier and spread across the world while the supercontinent Pangaea was still a coherent landmass. This forces a complete re-evaluation of the origins and evolution of these animals.1
The Nature Communications paper concluded, “The new discovery challenges conventional biogeographical ideas, and suggests that dispersal into East Asia occurred much earlier than expected.”2
Creationists disagree with the claimed great ages of these fossils and with the other secular interpretations. And we are not surprised by this discovery at all. It’s no surprise that some sauropod dinosaurs were found in deeper rock layers than secularists expected. When viewed from a biblical worldview, all dinosaur fossils are products of the global Flood that entombed billions of creatures.
God judged the world with a global catastrophe due to the wickedness and violence of the pre-Flood world as described in Genesis. Tsunami-like waves of unimaginable amounts of water and mud engulfed more and more environments as the water rose higher and higher. The first appearance of any type of dinosaur is merely a matter of being in the right place at the right time to be buried as this judgement unfolded. Only two diplodocoids were taken on the ark. All others perished in the Flood. The resulting fossils merely tell us the order of burial as wave after wave inundated creatures around the world.
Sauropod dinosaurs likely couldn’t run as well as many other types of dinosaurs to escape the rising Floodwaters.3 For this reason, they were likely trapped and buried earlier than, or below, many of the duck-billed and horned dinosaurs that possessed more running mobility. This explains why these faster dinosaurs are found more commonly in the higher rock layers of the Cretaceous System.3 When the concept of deep time is eliminated and the reality of the Flood is accepted, finding a herd of 7-10 individuals in a rock layer below previous levels is not surprising. It’s merely a matter of statistics.
1. University College London. 2018. New dinosaur found in the wrong place, at the wrong time. ScienceDaily. Posted August 1, 2018, accessed August 4, 2018.
2. Xu, X. et al. 2018. A new Middle Jurassic diplodocoid suggests an earlier dispersal and diversification of sauropod dinosaurs. Nature Communications. 9 (2700): DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05128-1.
3. Clarey, T. L., and J. P. Tomkins. 2015. Determining average dinosaur size using the most recent comprehensive body mass data set. Answers Research Journal. 8: 85-91.
*Dr. Timothy Clarey is Research Associate at ICR. He earned his doctorate in geology from Western Michigan University.
Image credit: Copyright © 2018. Zhang Zongda. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holder.