Killer Dinosaur Goes Vegetarian

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Killer dinosaur goes vegetarian, according to reports in BBC news and news@nature 4 May 2005 and Nature,, vol. 434, p84 and Scientific American 5 May 2005. A team of scientists led by James Kirkland of the Utah Geological Survey have found a skull, pelvis and limb bones of a new species of dinosaur they claim was converting from a carnivore to a vegetarian. The dinosaur named Falcarinus utahensis had teeth similar to those of an iguana and a pelvis that seemed to be wide enough to accommodate a larger gut needed to digest plant food. However, it was bipedal with long thigh bones and had long sharp claws - features that would enable it to chase and kill other animals. Scott Sampson of the Utah Museum of natural History commented: "With Falcarinus, we have actual fossil evidence of a major dietary shift, certainly the best example documented among the dinosaurs. This little beast is the missing link between predatory dinosaurs and the bizarre plant eating therizinosaurs."

Therizinosaurs are dinosaurs that have been found in China in rocks dated as 90 million years old. The Falcarinus bones were found in a massive fossil graveyard at Cedar Mountain in eastern Utah which has been dated as 125 million years old on the basis of the fossils that it contains. The researchers suggested that Falcarinus was changing its diet because flowering plants were evolving at this time and the dinosaur was "exploiting an open ecological niche."

BBC

Editorial Comment: If this animal was changing its diet, it is far more likely it was going from vegetarian to meat eating. Genesis tells us that all animals were originally made to eat plants (Genesis 1:30). After the Fall of Man, but before Noah's flood, the world degenerated and Genesis records that some animals took to being scavengers (Gen 7:2). After the flood Genesis records a move onto carnivorous habits (Gen 9 - Gen 50), but only creatures that already possessed sharp teeth and claws could ever make the transition from vegetarian to savage carnivores. Furthermore, just because a creature has characteristics that are similar to another such as Falcarinus and therizinosaurs does not mean one is changing into the other.

Finally, the fact this animal was found in a fossil graveyard, indicates that it and the thousands of other dinosaurs at this site were rapidly buried in a catastrophic flood. The rocks don't point to millions of years. (Ref. diets, degeneration, transition)

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