By Andrew V. Ste. Marie
Fossil footprints and trackways are found all over the world, left by many different types of animals. They are normally found running along the surfaces of sedimentary layers, showing the locomotion of animals across the tops of soft layers of mud.
However, discovery of an unusual trackway breaks these normal rules. The trackway was discussed in the latest issue of Creation Matters, a publication of the Creation Research Society.
Near Slick Rock, Colorado, the trackway is actually three trackways – the tracks of three individual animals. The footprints are in the Middle Jurassic rocks of the Entrada Sandstone or the Junction Creek Sandstone – allegedly 120-150 million years old, by evolutionary dates. These rocks are under the Morrison Formation, a Jurassic layer famous for its allosaurs, stegosaurs, and sauropods. Joe Taylor, a creationist paleontologist who was involved in studying the trackways, described the layer they were in: “It is a whitish-gray layer seen for miles and miles under the generally red layers above, which look to be possibly 200 feet thick or more.”
What is unique about these new trackways is that the animals which made them did not walk across the geologic layers, but up them. Terry Beh, author of the article, wrote, “There are three distinct trackways of varying lengths, which ascend vertically across several bedding planes of a 15- to 20-feet-thick exposure of Junction Creek Sandstone…The left side trackway…consists of at least 10 footprints and crosses the entire face of the exposure, including four separate beds, and extends up and over the topmost, cross-bedded layer.”
What does this mean? If an animal can ascend vertically across the rock layers and leave footprints in them, that means that these layers were all soft when it walked across them. If they were all soft at the same time, that means that the rock layers had to have been laid down almost simultaneously. Joe Taylor said, “Since these layers, all six visible feet of them, had to all be wet and soft at the time the dinosaurs ran up them, it means that they cannot possibly have taken hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of years to form. All of the dozens of ¼“ thick layers comprising the track ways, had to be laid down at the same time with no erosion between them. There is however, a layer at the top about 16 inches thick that is a cross-bed. But, it too was soft, as the tracks make the same impressions in it as the lower layers.”
This conclusion does not just affect our view of a few local Colorado rock outcroppings. The rock layers that these tracks were found in extend great distances; the Junction Creek Sandstone covers parts of all of the Four Corners states, with a wide distribution in western Colorado. These tracks show that the entire extent of the whole set of layers had to be soft, all at the same time. Joe Taylor said, “Given their vast extent, this requires a massive, massive deposition at one time by liquid mud.”
Thus, the evolutionary idea that these rock layers were laid down slowly over thousands or millions of years by small river floods is discredited. However, the creationist idea that the geologic rock layers containing dinosaurs and their footprints were laid down simultaneously during the Flood of Noah’s day is supported.
What type of animal made these footprints? The locals call them “cat tracks.” This would be a major challenge for the evolutionary timescale, because cats were not supposed to have evolved by the Jurassic. Unfortunately, the tracks are too eroded to discern for sure what type of animal made them. While showing the similarity in shape between the Slick Rock tracks and modern cougar prints, Terry Beh concludes that the tracks were probably made by a prosauropod or a similar type of dinosaur. Joe Taylor said, “It looks like a bipedal [two-footed] animal made the tracks. There were at least three individuals moving side by side up the soft wet sand layers.”
Once again, the discoveries of science have confirmed the Biblical account found in Genesis and have discredited atheistic “millions-of-years” speculations.
Holy Bible, Authorized Version
Terry P. Beh, “Unique Trackway in Middle Jurassic Rocks Defies Evolution,” Creation Matters 19(1) (January/February 2014)
Casey G. Dick, “New Stratigraphic Interpretations of the Jurassic ‘Junction Creek Sandstone,’ Upper Gunnison Basin, Colorado,” poster presentation
Joe Taylor, personal communication