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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dinosaurs - When Did They Live?

The following is an excerpt from the 2/8/90 Awake!: "Discovering `The Great Reptiles' of the Past" pp.7-11; Heading: "When Did They Live?"

When Did They Live?

Dinosaurs played a dominant role in life on earth during their age. But then they came to an end. The rock layers containing human fossils consistently occur above those layers containing dinosaur fossils. Because of this, scientists generally conclude that humans came on the earthly scene later.

In this regard the book Palaeontology, by James Scott, states: "Even the earliest species of Homo sapiens (man) lived long after the disappearance of the dinosaurs . . . After tilting (through earth movement) has been allowed for, rocks containing fossil men consistently occur above those preserving the bones of the great dinosaur reptiles and it follows that the latter belong to an earlier age than the human remains."

In the Red Deer River valley, there is a layer of sedimentary rock that contains dinosaur bones. Just above this, there is a purplish-brown layer that follows the contour of the hillside. On top of the purplish-brown layer is a layer of brownish siltstone containing fossils of subtropical ferns, indicating a hot climate. Above this, there are several layers of coal. Farther up the hillside are coarser-grained layers of earth. There are no dinosaur bones in any of the higher layers.

The book A Vanished World: The Dinosaurs of Western Canada states that "all of the 11 major kinds of dinosaurs . . . ceased to exist in the western interior at about the same time." This, and the fact that human bones have not been found with dinosaur bones, is why most scientists conclude that the Age of Dinosaurs ended before humans came on the scene.

However, it should be noted that there are some who say that dinosaur bones and human bones are not found together because dinosaurs did not live in areas of human habitation. Such differing views demonstrate that the fossil record does not yield its secrets so easily and that no one on earth today really knows all the answers.

(For additional reading, see the Dinosaurs category.)


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