“Jurassic Pompeii” found by amateur rock sleuth Neville Hollingworth, who scoured old maps and records looking for ‘lost’ UK fossil sites. The huge number of sea creatures and land plants in the rocks reminded him of Pompei according to BBC News 22 July 2021.
Enter palaeontologists at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London who are now studying the mass of fossil crinoids (sea lilies), brittle stars, feather stars and other bottom dwelling sea creatures found in the old quarry. The fossils are in clay layers within the local limestone, dated as Middle Jurassic, 167 million years old. The research team estimate there are thousands of specimens, all exquisitely preserved in three dimensions, with all fine structure intact. In amongst the sea creatures are pieces of wood, some of which have imprints of crinoid arms.
Zoe Hughes, an NHM curator, explained: “What we have is something very suggestive of a dramatic mudflow. We have this happy little ecosystem and then, boom! – something catastrophic happens. Perhaps there was an earthquake that caused the mudslide and this came in and covered everything up. This is why the preservation is so amazing, because the scavengers couldn’t then get to all those animals to pick them apart”.
Tim Erwin of the Natural History Museum, (NHM) London, commented: “They tried to protect themselves, adopting the stress position of pulling their arms in. But it was all in vain; you can see where their arms got snagged open, right up to the crown. They were pushed into the sediment and buried alive”.
Editorial Comment: The fine detail of the preservation of these creatures certainly indicates they were rapidly and deeply buried before any decay or destruction processes could degrade them, but this was more than just a sudden mudflow from a nearby river delta. The pieces of wood indicate the water covered the land, ripped up trees and broke them up so that wood pieces and huge amount of sediment were also swept across a sea floor where the weight of the sediment not only buried the sea creatures but pressed the crinoid skeletons into the surfaces of the broken and water-logged pieces of wood.
It is easy to see why the first English geologists had no problem with Noah’s flood as the starting place to explain fossils. Local floods and mudflows only came later as Hutton, Lyell and Darwin hijacked British minds.
Creation Research News 27 July 2021
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