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New Dinosaur or Ancient Bird? A Creation Scientist's Perspective

Bizarre Dinosaur

Scientist have discovered a new animal fossil in Brazil with some bizarre characteristics, according to a New Scientist article.

This dinosaur, they say, has a long mane of fur or feathers down its back and structures that look like rods protruding from its shoulders.

Because of those structures, scientists are naming this animal Ubirajara jubatus, which means “lord of the spear.” Even though this creature is about the size of a chicken, its mane is about 11 centimeters long, scientists say.

Supposedly, this dinosaur lived 110 million years ago—or so secular researchers claim.

What do creation scientists think about this creature? A paleontologist with Answers in Genesis named Dr. Gabriela Haynes read the original scientific paper and offered her thoughts.

New Dinosaur or Ancient Bird: What a Creationist Paleontologist Thinks

Dr. Haynes first points out that there are many assumptions and interpretations surrounding dinosaurs, birds, and feathered dinosaurs—and this new discovery is no exception.

It’s important to understand how evolutionist researchers name and group animals today. The first assumption secular scientists have about these animals is that birds and dinosaurs are related through evolution. This affects how they classify fossils that have bird-like features.

After reading the original study, Dr. Haynes offered five major points:

  1. Not Much Fossil Material Found

With this particular fossil, researchers didn’t discover a lot of fossil material.

“This can make identification and classification a challenge,” she says. “When we are studying vertebrates, the chance of finding the whole animal, complete and articulated, is not very high.”

  1. Evolutionary Assumptions Are Driving This Discovery

Dr. Haynes points out that secular researchers place birds and dinosaurs together because of evolutionary assumptions.

“That is why many times when they find a bird, they call it a dinosaur,” she says. “Definitions have been changing, not because of evidence but because of arbitrary choices based on the evolutionary worldview. Since they believe all the organisms have shared ancestry, in this case, they believe that a group of dinosaurs (theropods) and birds share a close relationship.”

  1. The Reconstruction Is Based on Assumptions

If you look at a photo of the fossil itself, you’ll see that it’s a far cry from the reconstructed image the media is showing. The reconstruction artwork of Ubirajara jubatus looks little like the fossil. That’s because not much material was found.

Of course, artists always have to use their imagination to a certain extent when creating reconstructions of fossils. But Dr. Haynes points out that this reconstruction is based on many assumptions and interpretations.

“Most of the reconstruction (based on interpretation and assumptions) shows a dinosaur, but only a small part of the material was found,” she says.

  1. Could Be a Bird, Not a Dinosaur

Dr. Haynes finds it interesting that scientists are claiming that Ubirajara jubatus is a dinosaur. After all, researchers have found birds with similar structures to this new creature—but no dinosaurs.

In fact, Dr. Haynes says the researchers are assuming this creature has feathers. It could be something else!

  1. Possible Misclassification

“Most, if not all, of the genera cited in the scientific article have not been proven to have had feathers,” Dr. Haynes says. “Some of those genera are misclassified or the structures preserved are misunderstood. There are also questions about their identification and classification, whether they are a bird or a dinosaur.”

What Does This Mean?

In short, there is simply not enough evidence to determine whether this animal is a bird or a dinosaur—or even if its “mane” is feathers! Evolutionary assumptions are driving scientists to interpret this as a feathered dinosaur.

Lastly, this fossil is yet further evidence pointing to a global Flood as described in the Bible.

One researcher says it’s “totally weird” that the fossil preserved more than just the skeleton. It showed decayed remains of the creature’s guts, organs, feathers, and rod-like structures. What could have caused such a rapid burial that preserved these remains? A global Flood!

Are birds related to dinosaurs? Did they evolve from theropods (like smaller versions of the T-Rex) 150 million years ago? Learn a biblical perspective in Are Birds Dinosaurs? on Answers.tv!