Giant arthropod tracks found, according to reports in ScienceNOW 30 November 2005, BBC news and Nature, vol. 438, p576, 1 Dec 2005. Martin Whyte of the University of Sheffield has studied a 6 metre (20 ft) line of tracks in a sandstone outcrop in Scotland dated at 330 million years. This puts the creature that made them into the Carboniferous period of the evolutionary timetable. According to ScienceNOW “Crawling out of the water was becoming a popular pastime around 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous” but the land creatures of that geological era were believed to be “smaller than today’s house cats”. The creature that made the newly discovered tracks must have been approximately one metre (3 ft) wide and 1.6 metres (5 ft) long and walked with a slow lumbering gait with its tail dragging on the ground – nothing like any known land creature of that era. Whyte concluded it was a giant version of an extinct creature known as a “Hibberopterus” – a large crab-like aquatic animal with six legs that may have survived on land for short periods as long as its gills remained wet. The air is believed to have been higher in oxygen during the Carboniferous period and that would have helped it survive longer out of water as well. Mike Romano, a palaeontologist at Sheffield University, commented, “It is surprising that an aquatic animal of this size can come out onto land” but he wonders why it bothered. Romano suggested escaping overcrowded pools or looking for a mate but admits, “Sadly we can only geo-fantasise”.
Editorial Comment: It is good to see someone admit that many of the evolutionary stories told about fossils are fantasy rather than fact. The facts here show that a large six-legged creature has left its imprint in rocks. As no six legged creatures this big exist today, the discovery only proves that such creatures once existed but have died out. It is also good evidence suggesting that the environment was once good enough to support such creatures, e.g. more oxygen and moisture in the atmosphere. None of this is evidence for evolution, but it does fit with Genesis, which describes a good creation followed by degeneration. Genesis 1 and 2 describe the creation of a lush world, protected by “waters above” and watered by a rising mist each day. Such an atmosphere could have been higher in oxygen and water and able to support larger invertebrates, such as the one that made the footprints described above along with many other giant fossil insects found around the world which only add to this picture. (Ref. palaeontology, footprints, invertebrates)