Thursday, January 7, 2010

fossil tracks

OK, the timing on this one is weird. The latest issue of Answers magazine has a short piece by Kurt Wise on trilobite tracks that occur in layers beneath the earliest trilobite fossils (see p. 48). "Why would dozens of feet of rock have tracks but not the animals that made them?" asks Wise. He proposes that the Flood uniquely solves this dilemma:
What if, when the "fountains of the great deep were broken up" (Genesis 7:11), the spreading waters surprised the trilobites living on the ocean bottom? As the water became muddy, trilobites scurried about in terror, leaving their tracks behind them. Then as a layer of mud covered their tracks, they climbed through the mud and left tracks on the next layer - repeating this process until they finally succumbed in exhaustion and were themselves buried and preserved.
Now the latest issue of Nature has an article by Niedźwiedzki et al. titled "Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland." The cool part? From the abstract:
Here we present well-preserved and securely dated tetrapod tracks from Polish marine tidal flat sediments of early Middle Devonian (Eifelian stage) age that are approximately 18 million years older than the earliest tetrapod body fossils....
Hmmm.... That sounds familiar!

Niedźwiedzki et al. 2010. Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature 463:43-48.
Wise. 2010. Tracks but no trilobites. Answers 5(1):48.