The Day The Dinosaurs Died
In the dim past of antiquity,
giant dinosaurs roamed the earth. Suddenly--the dinosaurs
strange world came to a cataclysmic end. This mystery of
the great dying has been a century-long puzzle
to the best minds in paleontology. Its true meaning gives
us a much-needed understanding of this earths history.
By Paul Kroll
It was a bright and beautiful era in that
distant past--seventy million years ago, say paleontologists.
Strange creatures were roaming this earth. Dinosaurs dominated
the land. Pterosaurs (flying reptiles) flitted through the
skies. The oceans were alive with giant marine reptiles call
ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs.
The landscape of the earth was totally different then. We
might, as one author put it, well imagine ourselves
upon another planet.
None of the mammals with which we are ordinarily familiar
existed. There were no dogs, no horses, no cattle, no cats,
no man walked upon the earth to view this strange creation.
Few of the common insects with which we are familiar, such
as butterflies and bees, are known to have existed.
Two Different Worlds
life in the Age of Reptiles would seem strange to us. Cycads,
ferns, fern-like plants, dominated the landscape. The flowering
plants and landscape--the flowering plants and common trees
simply were not in existence. There were no oak trees, no
maples, no tomato vines, no orange trees, no marigolds, no
It was a world without the variety of mammals we see today,
few if any fish with true scales, no array of feathered fowl,
no grains, no fruits, no vegetables for man.
Then a series of strange and terrible disasters wrought havoc
on this earth. The flying reptiles were completely exterminated.
The great dinosaurs vanished completely, leaving only a few
small scattered dinosaur-like creatures for mans world
today. The great reptiles of the sea became a thing of the
past. The strange plant life of that time long ago was also
destroyed. It was replaced in great measure by the modern
plants of today--plants upon which man and mammal alike depend
for their survival.
With an alarming abruptness, that entire world perished. The
dinosaurs were exterminated. We do have reptiles with
us today, but they occupy a humble, almost insignificant
position, as one author put it. Almost without exception
they are crawling, sprawling creatures.
Todays snakes, lizards, turtles or crocodiles are hardly
chips off the old block.
But why did the dinosaurs perish--and HOW? Geologists admit
they dont know! It is a mystery they have not solved,
even after one hundred years of sleuthing.
Yet, the fact that these ruling reptiles perished violently
and in astronomic numbers is clear. That they left no descendants
is also irrefutable.
The Ultimate Disaster
expert Dr. Edwin Colbert admits, There can be no doubt
about it. All of the dinosaurs along with various other
NOT ONE OF THEM SURVIVED, as it is simply
proved by the fact that during almost a century and a half
of paleontological exploration, the wide world over, no trace
of a dinosaur bone or tooth has ever been found in any post-Cretaceous
rocks, not even in the earliest of them.
The proof of the geologic record on this score is IRREFUTABLE
(Dinosaurs, Edwin H. Colbert, p. 249).
This series of extinctions is one of the most confusing puzzles
in the history of paleontology. The greatest scientists scratch
their heads in amazement at what occurred.
None claims to have the full answer. For example, Carl O.
Dunbar, in his well known textbook, Historical Geology, is
simply awed by this wholesale extinction of life.
Time of Crisis
is difficult to account for the SIMULTANEOUS EXTINCTION
of great tribes of animals so diverse in relationships and
in habitats of life (Historical Geology, Carl
O. Dunbar, pp. 345, 348).
The expert Edwin H. Colbert speaks frankly of this problem:
The great extinction that wiped out ALL of the dinosaurs,
large and small, in all parts of the world, and at the
same time brought to an end various other lines of reptilian
evolution, was one of the OUTSTANDING EVENTS in the history
of life and in the history of the earth
it was an event
that has DEFIED ALL ATTEMPTS at a satisfactory explanation
(The Age of Reptiles, p. 191).
Forms of Life
sudden extinction of reptilian life was certainly a mysterious
event. But equally puzzling to scientists was the sudden appearance
of entirely new forms of life, totally unrelated to the reptiles.
It is this utter and complete change that confuses paleontologists
who seek to find an evolutionary answer for the existence
of all life.
Musing about this problem, geologist Carl O. Dunbar quotes
George Gaylord Simpson, one of the most respected men in paleontology:
It is as if the curtain were rung down SUDDENLY
on a stage where all the leading roles were taken by reptiles,
especially dinosaurs, in great numbers and bewildering variety,
and rose again IMMEDIATELY to reveal the same setting
but an ENTIRELY NEW CAST in which the dinosaurs do not appear
at all, other reptiles are mere supernumeraries [unimportant,
bit-part actors] and the leading parts are all played by MAMMALS
(Historical Geology, Carl O. Dunbar, p. 426).
is this sudden change in the character of life so devastating
to the evolutionary concept?
Because evolution demands slow change over long
periods of time. [65 million years ago is a relatively short
period of time geologically speaking, and in the evolutionary
concept of timing as well.] But here the fossil record show
QUICK change in an obviously SHORT period of time.
Evolution demands numerous intermediate living things
which can be hooked together in an attempt to show an evolutionary
sequence. However, the fossil record reveals a PROFOUND CHANGE
from reptilian hosts to mammals--and WITHOUT any proven intermediaries.
Scientists are thus faced with two unanswered puzzles: How
were the dinosaurs destroyed, and what killed them off so
quickly? [This answer has been discovered recently, as any
geology student knows. Two massive asteroids hit the earth
at roughly the same time, one approximately 10 kilometers
in size, hit on the northern shore of Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico,
and the other asteroid, 40 kilometers in size, hit in the
Arabian Sea off Bombay, western shore of India. These were
what has come to be termed, Global Killers.] And second, what
is the meaning of this abrupt change in the type of life on
Not one of the theories propounded
for dinosaur extinction is accepted by all paleontologists.
Paleontologist Edwin Colberts decisive verdict on the
ultimate cause of the dinosaur disaster is that, This
is one of the big questions of paleontology for which as yet
NO SATISFACTORY ANSWER has been set forward" (Dinosaurs,
Edwin H. Colbert, pp. 250-251). Briefly, lets examine a few
of the theories. What about climatic change?
Perhaps it got too cold for the dinosaurs. According to evolutionary
time scales, it would take many millions of years for the
earths climate to change. Surely, if evolution were
a fact, these reptiles could adapt themselves to it.
Perhaps it got too hot for the dinosaurs?
It is an ingenious idea, but there is no geological
evidence to support the concept of temperature increases at
the close of the Cretaceous period (Dinosaurs, Edwin
H. Colbert, p. 254).
What about food problems?
The fossil record shows that the plants eaten by the dinosaurs
were still very much available to them at the time of the
Great Extinction. Perhaps some could have been extinguished
IF the food supply in a certain area or of a certain kind
were not available. But this idea cannot account for the extinction
of ALL dinosaurs EVERYWHERE.
Perhaps great disease epidemics swept the earth at that time?
This solution is also rejected by most scientists--and for
good reasons. Most epidemics are very specific, attacking
only one species of animal or are relatively limited in their
effects, killing off only a portion of that species.
One paleontologist candidly confesses that it is stretching
credulity far beyond the bounds of reason to suppose that
a series of epidemics could have brought about the disappearance
of ALL dinosaurs (Dinosaurs, Edwin H. Colbert, pp.
Could it be that dinosaurs were badly constructed?
No! Dinosaurs were WELL CONSTRUCTED! And can we, in all honesty,
postulate that ALL the varied dinosaurs and other forms of
life in the land, in the seas, and in the air were ALL badly
Another quaint theory has certain so-called, primitive mammals
having a yen for dinosaur eggs--eating the huge reptiles literally
off the face of the earth.
The living Nile monitor, for example, avidly hunts and devours
eggs of the Nile crocodile. But it has not succeeded in exterminating
the larger relative.
But more important, the fossil record shows that true mammals
of the type and variety of today did NOT ARISE until after
the dinosaurs were extinct. This explanation, as others, simply
doesnt hold water.
The idea of racial senescence is an old theory--and
that is all it is, a theory! Few competent paleontologists
would accept the idea that dinosaurs just grew old and tired
as a race or species!
Remember, extremely varied reptilian forms living worldwide,
ALL DIED at once. Even if the senility idea were plausible,
would all the varied forms of life which became extinct--all
reach this so called senility state TOGETHER?
So much for one half of the ideas.
The other half of the categories usually
cited involve some form of local CATASTROPHE.
However, to do the job of extinguishing the reptilian hordes,
these catastrophes would have to be worldwide in
Because we find dinosaur graveyards in all parts of the world.
But such catastrophes would need to account for MORE than
just the dinosaurs mysterious obliteration.
The great crisis in the history of life at that time also
destroyed the great MARINE reptiles--the ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs,
and the mosasaurs. These ALL DIED simultaneously with the
dinosaurs--even though they lived in the seas.
Other types of life in the sea, and in the air as well, also
perished. The great winged dragons, the pterosaurs, had the
amazing wingspread of 23 to 25 feet. The final remains of
these flying reptiles are found along with the dinosaurs.
Their fate was the same.
But scientists are unwilling to accept sudden catastrophes
if they are worldwide in extent. [Since Velikovski
(World in Upheaval) some have been willing to, but
not the implication of Divine creation that this interpretation
An obvious and all to easy explanation is the catastrophe
one. Did some great event take place that wiped out these
reptiles? Colbert asks.
There is NO PLACE for worldwide catastrophes in
the world of the past or of the present IF the principle
of uniformitarianism [the idea that existing processes
acting in the same manner as at present are sufficient to
account for all geological changes] has any validity
(The Age of Reptiles, Edwin Colbert, pp. 203, 204).
thats just the problem! Scattered local catastrophes
are accepted. But worldwide catastrophe is denied consideration.
The theory that all geological processes have continued at
basically the same rate as we see them occurring today is
a vital pillar in the structure of modern geology.
But, have all geologic processes continued at the same rate?
Is this concept true? WHY have worldwide catastrophes been
rejected by scientists? Why should the obvious and all
too easy explanation of a universal catastrophe have
NO PLACE in modern science?
The plain and obvious answer is that evolution needs time--VAST
amounts of time--to make its theory seem plausible. [And 65
million years from the sudden extinction of highly sophisticated
groups of highly interrelated reptilian species to the appearance
of other highly sophisticated and interrelated groups of mammals
and plants, and man, is not considered by any serious scientist
to be sufficient time to allow the evolutionary process to
work.] But theistic evolution does not require vast amounts of time to make it possible.
Scientists realize that a major catastrophe could do in a
few days or weeks what natural processes might require many
thousands of years or even millions of years to accomplish.
A catastrophe enormously speeds up and goes far beyond the
pace of the natural processes of erosion and burial. That
is why any catastrophic approach is shunned and avoided by
scientists who have assumed that all life is due to a slow
We may assume, Nicholas Hotton, a paleontologist
tells us, that it [the extinction] resulted from reasonably
well-understood processes of climatic change and biological
we are fairly sure that it was gradual, NOT
CATASTROPHIC (Dinosaurs, Nicholas Hotton III,
Yet paleontologists acknowledge that other means could not
destroy these creatures. They admit that climatic change,
epidemics, change of food supply and other such ideas cannot
possibly account for the worldwide extinction of land, air,
and sea life at the close of the Age of Reptiles.
If a catastrophe is to be involved to explain the extinction
of the dinosaurs--it would have to be a WORLDWIDE occurrence!
European paleontologist Bjorn Kurten admits this precise point:
The catastrophe would have had to be almost UNIVERSAL
IN PROPORTIONS as we know that dinosaurs were present in most
or all continents (The Age of Dinosaurs, Bjorn
Kurten, p. 236).
Worldwide catastrophe seems to be the only path to pursue
in looking for an explanation for this mysterious extinction.
Yet, the typical paleontologist simply does not want to face
seems logical, admits Colbert, to look for some
great change that took place
to an end the multitudes of dinosaurs and other reptiles that
then populated the earth.
This is not to imply that there was of necessity a great
WORLDWIDE CATASTROPHE, which by the violence of its expression
suddenly wiped out the dinosaurs. Catastrophes are the mainstays
of people who have very little knowledge of the natural world,
for them the invocation of a catastrophe is an easy way to
explain great events (Dinosaurs, Edwin Colbert,
Yet, if a worldwide catastrophe explains what happened,
why NOT postulate--and prove it? What is wrong with an easy
or simple explanation? After all, paleontologists have been
struggling for an answer to this great dying for
Admissions in Mind
far no logical way has been found to connect the known cause
of the extinction of individual species with these worldwide
Great Deaths. Some other cause, operating on a WORLDWIDE
basis, would seem to be called for (The Day
of the Dinosaur, L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook
de Camp, pp. 200, 201).
How can we solve this puzzle of dinosaur extinction? First,
we must look for a worldwide cause. Second, that
cause must be so catastrophic that no dinosaur any place on
earth could survive. The evidence in this mystery is the fossil
Hunting in New Mexico
take a few examples of where dinosaur bones have been found
and see how catastrophic their burial really was.
In 1947, an expedition from the American Museum of Natural
History discovered an amazing concentration of Coelophysis
dinosaur bones in north-western New Mexico.
The explorers began to probe a certain section of land with
scratchers and awls, the usual method of preliminary investigation
of a possible bone site. It became quickly apparent that the
investigators had run upon a most amazing find.
The workers cut a large scallop into the hillside. As
the layer was exposed it revealed a most REMARKABLE DINOSAURIAN
GRAVEYARD in which there were literally scores of skeletons
one on top of another and INTERLACED WITH one another. It
would appear that some local catastrophe had overtaken these
dinosaurs, so that they all died together and were buried
together (Men and Dinosaurs, Edwin Colbert,
In what condition were they found?
They were found in the GREATEST PROFUSION, piled on
top of one another, with heads and tails and feet and legs
often inextricably mixed in a jack-straw puzzle of bones.
of the skeletons were absolutely complete. Even the
tiniest bones survived. These finds are rated as among the
most perfect dinosaur skeletons ever discovered.
They represent a range of ages, from very small animals to
those obviously fully adult. All of this rich material, coming
from a single quarry that was perhaps thirty feet square,
certainly indicates the remains of animals belonging to a
single species that may have been OVERWHELMED BY SOME
LOCAL CATASTROPHE AND BURRIED TOGETHER (Dinosaurs,
Edwin Colbert, p. 61).
The fact that these fossils were perfectly preserved shows
they had to be buried IMMEDIATELY-before predators and weathering
destroyed the skeletons.
The composition of the fossils shows a complete range of a
single species, as one might find a herd of some wild animal.
It is obvious that a CATASTROPHE buried those animals.
a Local Catastrophe?
But, was it only a local catastrophe?
This might be a logical deduction if such graveyards were
found nowhere else. However, the reverse is true. No matter
where we look, almost invariably we see indication of violent
burial for dinosaurs.
In fact, whenever we see fossils of anything from marine invertebrates
to mammals-this sudden, and violent type of burial is clearly
The dinosaurs are merely an outstanding case of this. For
example, there is a rich bed of fossil dinosaurs in Alberta,
Canada. Here is one of the most RICHLY fossiliferous regions
in the world for dinosaur bones.
How are these bones found?
Innumerable bones and many fine skeletons of dinosaurs
and other associated reptiles have been quarried from these
badlands, particularly in the fifteen-mile stretch that is
a veritable DINOSAURIAN GRAVEYARD (The Age of Reptiles,
Edwin Colbert, p. 169).
example comes from a 1934 discovery.
Barnum Brown, famous dinosaur discoverer, was collecting bones
in Montana. He heard of large bones in the ranch owned by
a man named Barker Howe, who lived at the foot of the Bighorn
Mountains of Wyoming.
Edwin Colbert tells us in what condition Brown found the bones
as he began to work the area of the Howe Ranch.
The concentration of the fossils was remarkable; they
were piled in LIKE LOGS IN A JAM (Men and Dinosaurs,
Edwin Colbert, p. 173).
If this were an isolated case, it might perhaps be explained
as a fluke of nature or a local catastrophe. But
this example is just one of many.
Such destruction, such mixing up, such concentration could
only come by catastrophe!
Profusion of Skeletons
In another case, somewhat earlier, bone diggers were making
exploratory excursions into the Medicine Bow anticline, a
ridge that contains what are called Morrison sediments-somewhat
north of Como Bluff, Wyoming. The Morrison formation is known
as a tremendous source of dinosaur fossils throughout Western
In the general area north of Como Bluff, on June 12, 1898,
the famous Bone Cabin quarry was located. It was named after
an old sheepherder who had built a cabin out of dinosaur bones
he found in the area.
Here is what the bone diggers found.
At this spot the fossil hunters found a hillside of
dinosaur bones that had weathered out of the sediments composing
the party went to work, digging down into the
surface of the hill, and as they dug, more and more bones
came to light. In short, it was a veritable MINE OF DINOSAUR
BONES (Men and Dinosaurs, Edwin Colbert, p.
Another author gives us more details into what was actually
In the Bone-Cabin Quarry
we came across a veritable
Noahs ark deposit, a perfect museum of all the animals
of the period.
Here are the largest of the giant dinosaurs closely
mingled with the remains of the smaller but powerful
carnivorous dinosaurs which preyed upon them, also those of
the slow and heavy moving armored dinosaurs of the period,
as well as the lightest and most bird-like of the dinosaurs.
Finely rounded, complete limbs from eight to ten feet
in length are found, especially those of the carnivorous dinosaurs,
perfect even to the sharply pointed and recurved tips
of their toes (Dinosaurs, W.D. Matthew,
pp. 136, 138).
Again, immediate burial was necessary for such perfect preservation.
It is as if a complete biota-an entire range of animals-were
buried together by water-borne mud.
Dinosaurs in Africa
of the most important paleontological expeditions was the
1909-1914 one to what was then German East Africa, now Tanzania.
The site contained an ENORMOUS NUMBER of fossils-far
more than could be carried off by one expedition. As in most
of such sites, the greater part of the remains were fragmentary
was much speculation as to how the remains of so many dinosaurs
came to be CONCENTRATED in beds otherwise rather poor in fossil
remains. Some German scientists suggested that the animals
had been overwhelmed by a natural catastrophe (The
Day of the Dinosaur, L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine
Crook de Camp, p. 250).
Why of course!
That is the obvious explanation. Here is another example of
VIOLENT burial. When you find fossils the world over-in Africa,
in North America, in Europe-all looking as though they had
been overwhelmed by a catastrophe, that is the
There was a WORLDWIDE CATASTROPHE that buried these dragons
of the ancient past and preserved them as a record of what
occurred in those distant times. Sudden death and immediate
burial was the fate of that ancient world.
in 1878 a remarkable concentration of Iguanodon (I-gwan-o-don)
skeletons were discovered one thousand feet below the ground
in a Belgian coal mine.
Coal miners in the coal town of Bernissart were developing
a new gallery at the 1,046-foot depth. Suddenly the miners
hit upon large fossil bones.
A second tunnel was driven parallel to the first at 1,157
feet. Again, bones were struck.
Thus it could be seen that the FOSSIL BONEYARD was evidently
one of gigantic proportions, especially notable because
of its vertical extension through more than a hundred feet
of rock (Men and Dinosaurs, Edwin Colbert,
The bones were not contained within the regular beds of the
coal seems--but were deposited in Unstratified clays that
cut through the layered coal. It appeared that a
deep pit or fissure had extended through the coal-bearing
layers. How is the profusion of bones explained?
would SEEM to indicate that
within the coal mine of Bernissart there was preserved an
ancient ravine--a narrow, deep gully
into which, within
a comparatively short span of years, many inguanodons had
slipped and fallen and died, to be buried in deep deposits
of mud brought in by flooding waters after HEAVY
RAIN (Men and Dinosaurs, Edwin Colbert, p.
This, of course, is often the explanation. But even then after
careful work it only seemed like a possible indication
that these iguanodons had slipped and fallen.
But here we have heavy rains mentioned, flooding waters, deposits
of mud. Is it not more logical to have a sudden inundation
bury these hapless dinosaurs? Do we not here have another
positive proof of some catastrophe obliterating the dinosaurs?