According to most contemporary geologists and paleontologists, the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. We can see them today, certainly, as petrified remains in the rock walls at Dinosaur National Monument or on display at The Field Museum in Chicago. We can buy bits and pieces of them in little plastic bags at roadside fossil shops in Colorado or New Mexico or Montana. We can dream about them. However, living dinosaurs have been separated from humanity by many millions of years, according to the geologists.
That's what they believe.
A growing collection of evidence, though, seems to tell a different story. It's not a popular story, and students at most major universities risk the disgust of their professors if they try to talk about it, but it appears the paleontologists spoke too quickly after all. Between dinosaur art on grave rocks in Ica Peru, dinosaur tracks with human tracks at the Paluxy River, and bones found "out of place" in the fossil record, there are plenty of remnants from a time when dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together.
The Paluxy River Tracks:
The residents of Glen Rose, Texas, south of Fort Worth, have long known of dinosaur tracks along the Paluxy River. During the Great Depression, these tracks were cut out of the rock and sold. One talented painter and rock mason named George Adams carved a few tracks in the limestone rock to sell, and ever after the Paluxy River tracks have been accused of being carvings. Despite this less-than-proud past, dozens of additional tracks have been found in the limestone of the river and its banks in recent years. The dinosaur tracks are well-known and recognized as legitimate, and additional trackways are found as the limestone layers are pulled up along the stretch of the river at Glen Rose. The dinosaur tracks are not alone, though. A wide variety of human-like tracks have also been found in the same layers as the dinosaur tracks. Sometimes the human tracks are just a foot or so away from the dino tracks, and on occasion they are found inside the dino tracks themselves.
Glen Kuban in 1980 examined the famous Taylor Trail, a long trackway of human-like prints that follows the path of a three-toed dinosaur along the Paluxy. He argues convincingly that the human tracks were actually tridactyl dinosaur prints in which the toes had been eroded or filled-in by mud.
However, in 1996, veteran bone-digger Joe Taylor (no relation to the discoverer of the Taylor trail) of Crosbyton, Texas, accompanied by a Japanese camera crew, molded and made casts of a human-like track next to a three-toed Acrocanthosaurus track on the Paluxy. Only the second toe of the human track is distinct in the ancient mud, but even the Japanese camera crew became excited about the discovery of what looked like a human track. What's more, the track matches the dimensions of human-like tracks of the Sir George series that had been found in 1983 and 1988 [See the "Dinosaur And Human Footprints" link below.] The second digit of all three of these tracks is noticeably deeper than the other toes of the foot. (The three small toes are visible in the 1983 and 1988 tracks and look extra short, almost as though the toes had been chopped off, which likely accounts for the strong second digit impression.)
The Acrocanthosaurus track next to the human-like track has two strong toe prints and only a light impression from its middle toe, but when we asked him, Taylor noted that neither the human nor the dinosaur track shows evidence of mud in-filling:
"It looks like they walked through the mud at the same time. A man only weighs about 170 pounds and a dinosaur weighs about 1500, and the dinosaur track is much deeper than the human track, but neither of them caused mud up-push, because it wasn't very slushy mud; it was pretty firm. The second metatarsal of the Acrocanthosaurus only makes a light impression, but that animal's track is known in the Dinosaur State Park with its holding up its middle toe. Which puts even more pressure on the other two toes. Some of those animal tracks down there at the Paluxy, you can see the anatomy on the bottom of their feet, which goes against the idea of mud in-filling."
We asked Taylor what he thought of Glen Kuban's research and the Taylor Trail. He said:
"I've gone down there and looked at the tracks that Kuban examined, and they are hard to explain. It's basically a silhouette of a dinosaur's footprint on some of those prints. It looks like the dinosaur just stepped on the mud with color on his foot. In fact, some of the prints are raised up. Now, how do you explain that? I think Taylor Tracks are legitimate, as far as I can tell. Of course there are legitimate criticisms that need to be considered, and Kuban's are some of the best, but the tracks were much better when Stan Taylor first found them. All sorts of things have happened to them since. In fact, somebody came in and destroyed a couple of the best tracks. Why would they do that if they weren't human?"
Taylor made a mold of the track that was found together with the Acrocanthosaurus track and has a cast of it on display at Mt Blanco Fossil Museum in Crosbyton, TX as his "Japanese Track." He has a cast of the 1983 Sir George track as well.
On July 3, 1997, Joe Taylor had the opportunity to made a second mold. This time, a track had been found pressed down across the middle of three-toed dinosaur track, as though it had slid down into the track. The men on the dig could not put their feet in the track because their heels were too wide. A woman who wears a size 9 1/2 or 10 shoe, however, can place her bare left foot into the cast of that track at Mt Blanco Fossil Museum and raise her eyebrows in awe.
In 2000, Alvis Delk and James Bishop of Stephenville, Texas, discovered a clear five-toed human footprint that shows uplift from a three-toed dinosaur print that pressed into it. The Creation Evidences Museum in Glen Rose has the original Alvis Delk footprint on display (and in person it is quite impressive. Photos do not do the print justice).
The Creation Evidences Museum has hosted an annual July dig in Glen Rose since the early 1980s, and the public is welcome to join in on future excavations.
The Ashley Phosphate Beds of South Carolina:
South Carolina's phosphate beds have been mined since the 1870s as a rich source of fertilizer for crops. Those beds also held plenty of fossils, and many of those fossils buried together were "out of place" according to the geologic dating system of today.
Professor F.S. Holmes (paleontologist and curator of the College of Charleston’s Natural History Museum) knew of a variety of creatures found in the phosphate beds of Ashley, SC. On page 31 of his 1870 book The Phosphate Rocks of South Carolina, Holmes describes the history of the beds, saying, "It was in this Post-Pleiocene age, the period when the American Elephant, or Mammoth, the Mastodon, Rhinoceros, Megathereum, Hadrosaurus, and other gigantic quadrupeds roamed the Carolina forests..."
It's noteworthy that Holmes lists the hadrosaurus in the mix. As if to avoid any confusion about what he meant, inside the cover of his book, (directly across from the UCLA Library label in the online copy) Holmes has a picture of the creature in question. The drawing is labeled "Hadrosaurus Foulki. - Leidy. Skeleton of a Fossil Lizard eighteen feet in Length".
The Hadrosaurus foulkii should not be in Holmes' list. Hadrosaurs - duck-billed dinosaurs - are considered to have lived 70 to 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous, while mammoths, giant sloths et al, allegedly lived during the Pleistocene epoch just thousands to a few million years ago. In fact, Hadrosaurus foulkii holds a special place in the world of dinosaur digging. It was a discovery that impressed on the world that dinosaurs had actually existed, and is honored as the state dinosaur of New Jersey.
Not only did the hadrosaur show up in the Ashley beds, though. Apparently, so did humans.
In his book How Shall We Escape, French Oliver describes the fossils of Ashley, saying on page 177, "Major E. Willis of Charleston, S.C., sent me a cordial invitation to visit the Charleston Exposition and see the 'finest collection of fossils in the world.' He sent me a list of fossils and phosphate specimens, also a number of the fossilized bones... The fossils of Ashley, S.C., are remarkable in their vast scope of species. Ranging from the common periwinkle to the mammoth, mastodon and megatherium. And the mystery of man's longevity clears as we find his bones among the number. The individuality of the species is absolute..."
John Allen Watson, in his book Man, Dinosaurs, and Mammals Together (2001), notes that Willis' catalog of animals from the phosphate beds included dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, whales, sharks, rhinos, horses, mastodons, mammoths, porpoises, elephants, deer, pigs, dogs, and sheep.
Legends of dragons can be found in cultures across the world, from China to Norway. Dinosaur-like creatures are also found in a wide variety of ancient art that can be readily seen today - at museums like those at Glen Rose and Crosbyton, at ancient sites around the world, and in pictures conveniently placed online. Sauropod-shaped handles on pottery jugs from the Mississippi Caddo Indians of 13th century AD, a stegosaur carving on a column of the Ta Prohm monastery in Cambodia, dedicated in 1186, burial stones from Ica, Peru showing pictures of dinosaurs and humans together, the faint, desert varnished pictograph of a sauropod on the wall next to other Anasazi wall art on the inside of the Kachina Bridge at the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, and many other forms of dinosaur art demonstrate that human beings did see dinosaurs in times far more recent than 65 million years ago.
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." - Gen 1:24-26
"Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee;" -Job 40:15
[See the links below for photographs and additional information.]
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Related Links: Phosphate Rocks of South Carolina by F.S. (Francis Simmons) Holmes - Archives.org