Coal mine shark found, according to articles in the University of Kentucky News 4 April 2011 and Public Broadcasting WUKY 7 April 2011. A miner in western Kentucky has found the teeth and jaws of a very large shark whilst working 700 ft (213.36 m) down a coal mine. The specimen was embedded in a layer of shale, approximately 8 inches (20.32 cm) above the coal seam. The specimen has been identified as belonging to an extinct shark named Edestus. Specimens of Edestus have been found in Kentucky before, but this is the largest so far as fossil experts from University of Kentucky estimate it was about 20 feet (6 metres) long. Steve Grebb of Kentucky Geological Survey commented: “In Kentucky and surrounding areas, Edestus jaw specimens have been found in marine shales above the Springfield and Herrin coal beds, which would be upper Middle Pennsylvanian in age, or about 307 million years old. The region was, of course, under a shallow sea at the time these sharks were around”. (Middle Pennsylvanian is an American name for a section of the geological column which the British label the Carboniferous period.) The fossil has been taken to the University of Kentucky, where Grebb will work with Frank Ettensohn, a paleontologist in the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences to study it more closely. The scientists said it would help them understand what the area was like during the Carboniferous period. Ettensohn commented: “Probably we had just as far as you could see wet, swampy, mucky kind of conditions over Kentucky. And then very rapidly, the sea came in. And it’s in these shallow seas that kind of inundated these coal swamps where these sharks were living”.
Editorial Comment: Notice the curious mixture of uniformitarian and catastrophic interpretation here. These geologists are sticking to the story of coal being formed slowly and gradually in a state wide swamp, but invoke a rapidly rising sea level in order to explain how a 20 foot (6m) shark could get buried and fossilised just above the coal.
We will await a more detailed geological report on this mine and fossil site, but as this editor and several of our geologists have collected and worked extensively in the Kentucky Coal fields, we suggest a better explanation for this find will prove to be that mats of lush vegetation were first flooded into place and then this first flood deposit was again inundated by a newer flood current carrying a sediment rich in marine creatures which were dumped on the vegetation which fermented to form coal, while leaving a layer of silt and buried dead marine creatures on top. The upper layer of silt then solidified into the “marine shales” described above.
The Jaw can easily be identified as a shark because sharks are still living today, even though this particular species is extinct. All of which is no help to the theory of evolution, as this shark appears fully formed in the fossil record and then disappears. It simply indicates there were once more shark species than there are today, but some have died out. Altogether, this fossil and its surrounding geology fit better with the Biblical history of creation followed by a catastrophe rather than slow gradual uniformitarian geology and evolution. (Ref, fish, fossilisation, ichthyology, palaeontology)
Evidence News 20 April 2011