Veterinarian-turned-paleontologist Cynthia Marshall Faux has a new hypothesis to explain the ”often” awkward positions of fossilized dinosaurs. Faux and a colleague say brain damage and suffocation are likely culprits.
Previously, the unusual burial postures of such fossils as Archaeopteryx were thought to be due to the action of water currents repositioning dead dinosaurs, or the effect of rigor mortis and body desiccation “contorting” the carcasses.
However, that hypothesis failed to explain “[v]irtually all articulated specimens of Archaeopteryx,” which “[exhibit] a classic pose of head thrown back, jaws open, back and tail reflexed backward and limbs contracted,” explains Kevin Padian professor of integrative biology at the University of California-Berkeley. Sudden suffocation and burial explains the position and, as Padian puts it, cast “a whole new light on the mode of death of these animals, and interpretation of the places they died in.” Even so, Padian admits that many dinosaur fossils do indeed “show signs that the animal died in water and the current tugged the body into an arched position.”
So let’s see. We have evidence -- again -- of ancient animals who experienced watery deaths, something secular scientists widely accept as responsible for a great many fossilization events. Now, scientists are adding suffocation into the mix. Drowned dinosaurs buried by water in rock layers (all over the earth, etc.) -- does it sound familiar?