Dino diet clues found, according to a Royal Society Press Release, 15 July 2009. Palaeontologists in Utah have found the most complete skeleton of a dinosaur named Nothronychus graffami. The creature is classified as therizinosaur, a type of theropod. Theropods include creatures like T rex and Velociraptor and are considered fearsome carnivores. The new creature has enormous sharp claws but it has a stocky build, with a large abdomen, relatively short legs, a long neck and small head. According to the experts these are characteristics of a plant eater and the researchers suggest it used the sharp claws like a scythe to cut plants. After comparing the bones with other therizinosaurs and other theropods they suggested “that ‘predatory villains’ such as Velociraptor could have evolved from ‘less fearsome plant-eating ancestors’”.

Another intriguing thing about the dinosaur is that it was found among sea shells. It was a surprise to Dave Graffam, who discovered the first bones whilst looking for sea creatures in “marine rocks which would have been almost 100 miles from the nearest shore line.” He believes it was preserved when it “stranded at sea and struggled for a few days before drowning and sinking to the bottom”. Palaeontologist Alan Titus has dated the dinosaur to “almost exactly 92.5 million years ago” using the marine shellfish it was buried with.

Editorial Comment: Creatures that started vegetarian and became carnivores are no problem for Biblical Creationists. Genesis states all animals started out eating plants, (Genesis 1: 29-30) but after the flood and by the days of Job when the world had become a much harsher place subject to biblically recorded drought/snow/hail etc, scavengers and predators are listed. This did not involve any evolution, just a change in how the creatures used whatever teeth and other appendages they already had. As the researchers who studied this dinosaur admit sharp claws and teeth do not necessarily make an animal a killer.

Furthermore, this is not the first dinosaur to be found among sea shells and other sea creatures, but the story of drowning, sinking to the bottom and being slowly covered does not fit the evidence and it raises the questions; “What was a lumbering plant eater doing 100 miles out to sea?” and “How did the dead body avoid being eaten and scattered by scavengers while it was waiting to be covered in sediment?” It is far more likely it was swept up in a catastrophic flood mixed with debris from the sea floor and then dumped and buried deeply. (Ref. reptiles, catastrophe, vegetarian)

Evidence News, 5 August 2009