Saturday, December 13, 2014


The Grand Canyon petroglyph in question.

On June 21, 2014, I posted a column titled DINOSAURS IN ROCK ART – THE HAVASUPAI CANYON HADROSAUR. In this I expressed my disbelief in the claims of creationists that there are rock art examples of dinosaurs that prove that humans and dinosaurs coexisted and interacted. The example I discussed in that posting, the Havasupai Canyon so-called “hadrosaur” was first recorded by the Doheny expedition in October and November of 1924 and here is an abbreviated version of that account from Samuel Hubbard's account of that expedition.

“The Doheny Scientific Expedition to the Hava Supai Canyon in Northern Arizona, was organized for the express purpose of bringing before the scientific world, certain discoveries relating to prehistoric man made by the writer in three previous visits to this isolated region.” (Hubbard 1925:3)

“This canyon was first visited by the writer in November, 1894, and in February and March, 1895. Most of the matters of prehistoric interest described in this pamphlet, were observed at that time but their true significance was not fully recognized. Endeavors were made at various times to interest scientists in this discovery, but without avail. - - - -

Havasupai Canyon hadrosaur,
Doheny expedition, p. 10.

Hubbard's conception of what the petroglyph
represents. Doheny expedition, p. 11.

The fact that some prehistoric man made a pictograph of a dinosaur on the walls of this canyon upsets completely all of our theories regarding the antiquity of man. Facts are stubborn and immutable thins. If theories do not square with the facts than the theories must change, the facts remain.
Samuel Hubbard, Director of the expedition.
Oakland, California,
January 26th, 1925.” (Hubbard 1925:5)
Hubbard's map. Doheny Expedition, p. 4.

The “Tobocobe Trail” after leaving the “Warehouse” at the Hill Top, makes its way for about six miles down Lee Canyon, a tributary canyon to the main canyon of the Supai. Just at the junction of these two canyons are the most important wall pictures so far discovered. –
The accompanying halftone, taken from a photograph made by Robert L. Carson of San Gabriel, California, gives a better idea of the figure than any description can possibly attempt to do. The fact that the animal is upright and balanced on its tail would seem to indicate that the prehistoric artist must have seen it alive.” (Hubbard 1925:7)

“That dinosaurs were in the vicinity, is proved by the tracks we discovered, which were identified by Mr. Gilmore as belonging to one of the carnivorous dinosaurs. These tracks were in the “Painted Desert” not over 100 miles from the picture.
The dimensions of the figure are as follows: Total height, 11.2 inches; greatest width, 7 inches; length of leg, 3.8 inches; length of body, 3.9 inches; width of body, 3 inches; length of neck to top of curve, 3.5 inches; length of tail (approximately) 9.1 inches, length of neck (approximately) 5.1 inches.
About a year ago a photograph of the “dinosaur” was shown to a scientist of national repute, who was then specializing in dinosaurs. He said, “It is not a dinosaur, it is impossible, because we know that dinosaurs were extinct 12 million years before man appeared on earth.” (Hubbard 1925: 9)

 Edmontosaurus (an early hadrosaur)by 
Mineo Shiraishi.


In my previous posting of June 21, 2014, titled DINOSAURS IN ROCK ART – THE HAVASUPAI CANYON HADROSAUR, I pointed out that, while this petroglyph fit what was thought about dinosaurs at the time we now know that the figure is completely inaccurate according to today’s scientific knowledge. Far from being the limp nebbish shown, standing on his hind legs with his tail dragging on the ground behind it, modern paleontologists see the hadrosaur as running bipedaly with his tail straight out behind, and relatively rigid. So, while the image might have made sense as a dinosaur in 1925, it no longer does. The same goes for the tail of the diplodocus that Hubbard equates the petroglyph with. It stuck out straight and relatively rigid, and while it would have been able to swing from side to side it probably rarely dragged on the ground at all. The designation of this petroglyph as a picture of a dinosaur must be rejected on the basis of our current scientific knowledge. So sorry creationists, it just isn’t true.


Hubbard, Samuel
1925    The Doheny Scientific Expedition to the Hava Supai Canyon, Northern Arizona, October and November, 1924, Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA.


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