Sedimentary Layers

Mass baby burial of 1400 juvenile animals, according to reports in ScienceDaily and Penn State News 28 June 2021 and Nature Ecology and Evolution 28 June 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41559-021-01490-4.

Palaeontologists have found an exceptionally preserved trove of soft bodied invertebrate fossils from a rock formation named the Haiyan Lagerstätte located in Haiyan, China. The term Lagerstätte is derived from the German for “storage place” and is used by palaeontologists to refer to a sedimentary deposit containing a mass of well-preserved fossils. The scientists have found 2,846 specimens and identified 118 species, including 17 new species. The fossils are so well preserved that the scientists could identify appendages, eyes and internal soft tissues.

There are several layers in the formation and the researchers suggest the fossils were buried by mudslides following storm events. According to Penn State News “The lagerstätte contains several event beds, or layers in the sediment where the fossils are found. Each layer represents a single burial event”. The fossils are dated as 518 million years old.
Over half the fossils are larvae and juveniles, so the researchers suggest the deposit could be “a palaeonursery” i.e. a place where these creatures chose to reproduce because it offered protection from predators. Sara Kimmig, one of the researchers, commented: “Could these worms and jellyfish and bugs have developed something as sophisticated as a palaeonursery to raise their young? Whatever the case may be, it’s fascinating to be able to parallel this behaviour to that of modern animals”.

Julien Kimmig, another member of the research team, commented: “In this deposit, we found the ancestors to most modern animals, both marine and terrestrial. If the Haiyan Lagerstätte is actually a palaeonursery, it means that this type of animal behaviour has not changed much in 518 million years”.

Links: ScienceDaily, Penn State
Editorial Comment: For so many fossils to be so well preserved they certainly had to be buried rapidly and deeply to prevent decay processes, so the researchers’ suggestion that these exquisitely preserved soft bodied creatures were buried in a mudslide is a good one.

However, the presence of several layers does not mean there were a series of separate events one after the other. Distinctly separate layers can be made simultaneously by sediment in flowing water as we have proven many times over with our strata experiments at Jurassic Ark. Therefore, it is most likely the whole of the fossil bearing formation described above was formed by one large mass of sediment and creatures being washed in together and deposited by one large flood catastrophe, rather than many small ones.

Many researchers do not want to think about this possibility because they know the suggestion of one large flood reminds people of Noah’s Flood, and they don’t want to be reminded of this. Not because of the science, but because Noah’s Flood was a judgement by God, and that is what they really don’t want to know.
Rapid Rock Layers: See the amazing results of our strata experiments here.

Creation Research News 14 July 2021

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