We have a great fascination towards dinosaurs, perhaps due to the fact that we’ll never get to see one in the flesh. According to mainstream science, all non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, almost 66 million years ago.
However, not all were content with this chronology and over the years we’ve seen several intriguing hypotheses that proposed not all dinosaur species perished during the K-Pg extinction and that some have even managed to survive well into modern times. In this previous article we’ve covered several accounts of creatures closely resembling dinosaurs being encountered in different places in the world and quite recently, for that matter.
Many believe that the worldwide legends about dragons have some substance behind them and weren’t simply the product of imagination.
Even between paleontologists there exists a certain dissension regarding the date for the extinction of dinosaurs. Without bringing creationism into the discussion, it’s worthy mentioning that some archaeologists believe some species of dinosaurs have managed to avoid extinction and that at some point, modern man coexisted with these very ancient creatures.
Carbon-14 dating of a recent fossil might just support these claims. In 2012, paleontologists Otis Kline Jr. and Kevin Anderson uncovered a Triceratops horn in Dawson County, Montana. Two samples from this horn were sent to the University of Georgia for C-14 dating and the results were surprising, to say the least. The horn samples turned out to be anywhere from 41,000 to 33,000 years old. While isotopic dating isn’t infallible, it doesn’t usually miss by 66 million years. In fact, samples over 50,000 years old are hard to date and require special preparations.
Dinosaur fossils are usually dated through stratigraphy; paleontologists essentially identify the K-Pg boundary and count down from there. Radiocarbon dating isn’t even performed on dinosaur fossils due to the fact that it is considered a waste of energy and resources.
According to Hugh Miller, lead researcher of the Paleochronology Group, this practice basically means turning a blind eye towards evidence.
Interestingly enough, the Triceratops horn isn’t the only dinosaur fossil revealed to be much younger than conventional archaeology would suggest. Carbon dating performed on other samples returned equally interesting results and they all numbered in the tens of thousands of years instead of the expected millions.
I organized the Paleochronology Group in 2003 to fill a void with regards to fossil wood and dinosaur bones as I was curious as to their age by C-14 dating. We thus have used C-14 dating to solve the mystery why soft tissue and dinosaur depictions exist world-wide. Our model predicted dinosaur bones would have significant C-14 and indeed they did in the range of 22,000 to 39,000 years BP,” said Miller.
These findings seem to go on par with the discovery of soft tissue in a 68-million-year-old T. rex fossilized leg bone. After the sample was rehydrated, some of the dinosaurian soft tissue retained “some of their original flexibility, elasticity, and resilience,” according to the article published in Science Magazine. When the discovery was made in 2005, it baffled the scientific community as it is believed that the proteins in soft tissue cannot survive past the one million years mark.
While there is certainly room for error in the testing process, it is worth noting that the University of Georgia took extra precautions not to skew the results. Should their findings prove valid, it would change the perception and reception of modern science altogether. Also, other laboratories are certain to perform their own battery of tests. One way or another, the truth will eventually surface.
And who knows, maybe early humans and dinosaurs lived alongside, after all.