Giant Duck-Billed Dinosaur Discovered

Creation Expeditions Team Discovers Giant Duck-Billed Dinosaur

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Home-School Paleontologists Strike Pay-Dirt Again

Fossilized skin imprints from “Ezekiel” the Edmontosaurus point to recent catastrophic death of this duck-billed giant. Find counters the myth that the Edmontosaurus was a transitional dinosaur with feathers.

For Immediate Release
July 21, 2003

A team of home schoolers and paleontologists from Creation Expeditions has excavated a giant duck-billed dinosaur from the badlands of South Dakota. Dubbed “Ezekiel,” this 30-foot-long Edmontosaurus discovery comes just over one year after the Creation Expeditions team made headlines with their the miraculous find in northwestern Colorado of the world’s fourth and largest Allosaurus skull. In addition to recovering the complete skull of Ezekiel and more than 85% of the skeleton, the group found excellent samples of fossilized skin.

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The “Hand” of Ezekiel

Evolutionists theorize that the Edmontosaurus died millions of years ago, and some have recently speculated that this was a partially feathered type of dinosaur which eventually evolved into modern birds. The Creation Expedition team believes their discovery challenges such theories.

“Our find dispels the myth that the Edmontosaurus was a pre-bird,” said Pete DeRosa, president of Creation Expeditions and team leader on the South Dakota dig. “The rich ash and sulfur content in the soil beautifully preserved the animal’s skin down to the very pigment. It is clear that this was a reptilian-like animal with skin closer to that of a crocodile than a bird. Our discovery demonstrates that there is no reasonable possibility of feathers on this animal.”

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Five of the Team Members Gathered Around the Skull

DeRosa continued, “Buried in the same strata with Ezekiel were evidences of animals which, by evolutionary standards, should not be there, including garfish and turtles. The deposition of the animal, the fossilization and preservation of the skin, the full articulation of the animal, and the fact that it appears to be part of a fossil graveyard, all point to the relatively recent death of Ezekiel. We believe he died thousands, not millions, of years ago. His death is best explained by the catastrophic events surrounding the flood of Noah’s day, as described in the Bible.”

The discovery was announced this week and the partially-restored skull was revealed for the first time at the 2003 Christian Booksellers Association in Orlando, Florida.

“The human credit for the find goes to my two boys, Peter and Mark,” DeRosa said. “They were the ones who first discovered Ezekiel, organized the heavy lifting for the excavation, and performed the restoration on the skull. Of course, all honor goes to the Lord for leading us to the site and blessing us with such a tremendous discovery.”

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Skin from Ezekiel

After learning about the 2002 Colorado Allosaur skull, a Christian family from South Dakota invited Creation Expeditions to visit their property to look for dinosaurs. The team accepted the offer. Several days of searching revealed evidence in the form of “float material” which pointed to the possibility that the diggers were near a large bone bed containing the remains of several different kinds of dinosaurs.

The team first discovered the frill of a Triceratops. Later they excavated several specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex teeth. But it was the discovery of a line of unidentified but fully articulated vertebrae which captured their attention and tipped them off to the possibility that they were onto something significant. Almost four weeks and hundreds of man hours later, a 30-foot-long Edmontosaurus had been scientifically mapped, plaster-jacketed, and excavated.

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Partially-Restored Skull of Ezekiel on Display at the 2003 Christian Booksellers Association in Orlando, Florida

“We always hope that the Lord will bless our work, but I certainly had no idea that he would lead us to such a remarkably substantial discovery,” son Pete DeRosa, Jr. explained. “It was a few days before we knew for certain what kind of a dinosaur we had discovered. But the pelvic bones gave it away. Once we found them, we knew we had some form of Hadrosaurus. It was clearly a bipedal ornithopod, not a quadruped.”

To reach the skull, Creation Expeditions had to dig nine feet down and twenty-one feet into the rock matrix, while painstakingly removing three tons of dirt. But the results were worth the work and effort. The beautifully-preserved skull, with its magnificent crest intact, measured almost four feet in length.

Believed to be an herbivore, the duck-billed Edmontosaurus has teeth which form a large grooved surface, well-suited for grinding plants in a manner similar to modern cows and horses.