Everyone today has heard that at one time, long ago, dinosaurs roamed our world. Dinosaurs were some of the largest land animals ever to live. Thousands of dinosaur fossils can be found throughout the fossil record. Soft Tissue has also been discovered in numerous examples now. Did dinosaurs have feathers? What is the Truth about dinosaurs? What were they like? When did they live?
Dinosaurs lived between 230 – 65 Millions years ago.[i] They evolved from smaller reptiles and many dinosaurs evolved into birds.[ii] There are approximately 700 species of dinosaurs, but some estimate that there are more to be found.[iii] Different types of dinosaurs including (but not limited to) theropods, sauropods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and eventually birds lived and evolved during the different periods of history such as the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. Dinosaurs themselves went extinct probably due to a large meteor strike that changed the earth’s climate enough that there was poor air quality and not enough food for dinosaurs and so they died away. [iv] [v] This great extinction of the dinosaurs began the Cenozoic Era of history, in which we live today.[vi] Dinosaur fossils can be found because the dinosaurs were buried in volcanic ash or buried due to seasonal flooding.
Because dinosaurs lived so long ago, there is no way that they could have ever lived with humans, and there have never been human fossils found in the same layers with dinosaur fossils. All the species of dinosaurs would not have been able to fit on the ark even if Noah’s ark is true and dinosaurs were still around. They could in no way be mistaken for dragons, because they went extinct a long time ago as shown in the fossil record. Dragons are fantasy and make for good stories.[vii]
Since dinosaurs evolved into birds, there are some dinosaurs in the fossil record, similar to Archeaopteryx, that have feathers. In an article in Nature, Brian Switek reports that “palaeontologists have recognized more than 30 types of feathered dinosaur.” Switek continues to say that some scientists have found evidence of at least protofeathers on many dinosaurs and that they and “feathers seem to be an ancestral dinosaurian trait.” So all dinosaurs may have had either some form of protofeathers or feathers themselves, but “the trick will be finding specimens in the sorts of fine-grained sediments capable of preserving feather fossil.”[viii]
For the past 10 years, Mary Schweitzer has discovered numerous examples of soft tissue still preserved in dinosaur bones. The soft tissue within rock fossils that has been found shows that those specimens have been highly preserved through possibly some new process. In Barry Yeoman’s article describing Schweitzer’s journey of discovery, he writes “if the soft tissue can last 65 million years, Horner says, ‘there may be a lot of things out there that we’ve missed because of our assumption of how preservation works.’”[ix]
Check back tomorrow for the Creation Answer. Thanks again for your constructive help.
By Brian Mariani
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[i] USGS. “When did the dinosaurs first appear on earth?” Ronald J. Litwin, Robert E Weems, and Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. Last Modified May 17, 2001. http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/when.html. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[ii] Smithsonian: National Museum of Natural History. “Dinosaurs, Everything you wanted to know: Anatomy & Evolution.” http://paleobiology.si.edu/dinosaurs/info/everything/evo_1.html. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[iii] USGS. “How many types of dinosaurs are known?” Ronald J. Litwin, Robert E Weems, and Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. Last Modified May 17, 2001. http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/types.html. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[iv] USGS. “Dinosaurs: Facts and Fiction” Ronald J. Litwin, Robert E Weems, and Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. Last Modified August 6, 2007. http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[v] PBS. “What Killed the Dinosaurs?” 2001. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/extinction/dinosaurs/. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[vi] Smithsonian: National Museum of Natural History. “Dinosaurs, Everything you wanted to know: What Is a Dinosaur?” http://paleobiology.si.edu/dinosaurs/info/everything/what_4.html. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[vii] USGS. “Did people and dinosaurs live at the same time?” Last Modified May 17, 2001. http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/people.html. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[viii] Switek, Brian. “Rise of the feathered dinosaurs.” July 2, 2012. http://www.nature.com/news/rise-of-the-feathered-dinosaurs-1.10933. Accessed November 4, 2012.
[ix] Yeoman, Barry. “Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery.” Discover Magazine. Published online April 27, 2006. http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna. Accessed November 4, 2012.