Footprints precede feet by 55 million years according to a report in Nature vol 417, p936, 27 June 2002 and on Science in Action, BBC World Service, 2 July 2002. Palaeontologists have found more than a thousand footprints in two layers of claystone and siltstone in the Santo Domingo formation of north-west Argentina. The prints reveal a foot structure typical of birds - three narrow spayed out forward pointing toes and one backward pointing toe. The rocks have been dated as 212 million years old, 55million years older than Archaeopteryx, considered to be the oldest fossil bird. The Argentinian prints have all the features of fully formed bird feet. In spite of this the authors conclude "these bird-like foot prints can only be attributed to an unknown group of theropods showing some avian characters."

Editorial Comment: These footprints are not the first fossil evidence of fully formed birds existing before Archaeopteryx on the evolutionary timetable. Bird bones have been found in the Lower Jurassic Morrison formation (60 million before Archaeopteryx) and the Triassic Dockum formation in Texas (75 million years before Archaeopteryx). Birds leave distinctive footprints that are quite different from any of the theropod dinosaurs that evolutionists believe to be their ancestors. The palaeontologists conclusion reminds us of the old joke "my mind is made up, please don t confuse me with facts." (Ref. footprints, fossils, Archaeopteryx)


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