California Sharktooth Hill fossil bone bed was not formed by catastrophic events according to a paper published in the Journal of Geology, June 2009, vol. 37, p519-522. Since its discovery around 150 years ago, the origins of a bone bed in Southern California have puzzled scientists. The Sharktooth Hill Bone bed, which is between 10 and 50 cm thick, stretches over 100 square km and contains approximately 200 million fossils found in sedimentary strata (laid down in water) interpreted as formed at shallow depths. The layer contains fossilized bones of marine creatures such as whales, sharks, turtles, seals, dolphins and fish mixed with land mammals such as tapirs and horses. How did the bones get there? The latest researchers have concluded the bones lay exposed on the ocean floor and were gradually buried over a time period of some 700,000 years. The land mammals were washed out to sea and joined the bones of the sea creatures. The researchers report that very few of the bones show shark bites.
Editorial Comment: The rarity of shark bites on the bones means that sharks did not have an opportunity all through the 700,000 yrs to feed on the drowned or dead creatures, which is in itself unusual. But what really challenges the non-catastrophic interpretation is the claim that the 50 cm deposit took 700,000 years to be laid down which averages out at less than 1 millionth of a metre per year or around 28,000 years to cover your big toe. This deposition rate simply cannot account for the burial of large mammal bones before the bones deteriorated and only a catastrophic event explains the data. We did note the glaring omission in this paper of an explanation of how the land creatures died and why they all ended up in this concentrated bone bed mixed with sea creatures – few of which show any evidence of shark predation. The evidence at this site is much more in line with a rapid deposit of marine and land creatures killed during a catastrophic event such as Noah’s flood. (Ref. Deposition, sedimentary, fossilisation)
Evidence News, 28 Oct 2009