Image:Covid-Safe Dinosaurs
Image:Covid-Safe Dinosaurs
Image:Covid-Safe Dinosaurs

COVID-safe Dinosaurs


Too Many Dinosaurs in the Early Jurassic!

Early on I ran across a site listing Six "Flood" arguments that Creationists supposedly can't answer. Well not all Creationists subscribe to the views they were disputing, but as usual that doesn't stop these evolutionists publishing such stuff. One of the arguments that struck me as rather novel was the problem of too many animals. It used a rather fascinating quotation mentioning an estimate for the approximate number of fossilized animals in the Karoo Formation.

The evolutionist, Robert J. Schadewald, did a questionable calculation using the estimate to determine a vast number of animals per acre that must have been living at the time of the Flood:

... there must have been at least 2,100 living animals per acre, ranging from tiny shrews to immense dinosaurs. ...

It was a fascinating result and I wondered if I could use the same quote to determine an approximate density of dinosaurs at some specific time in the Mesozoic Era?

Sure it might be a bit dodgy, but no more that the one done above. So just for fun, why not?

And it should give them something to think about. If the fossil record is really a reliable record of the past life on our planet, just how in the world could I come up with such a result? And using Schadewald's own wording, "a minute's work with a calculator" yielded the result. Well maybe more than a minute as I am taking this back to the Early Jurassic. But you get the idea.

So, here we go ...

Approximately 1 dino per 4 sq.m.

It is estimated that the Karoo Formation in Africa contains the remains of 800 billion vertebrate animals. Well the evolutionists use this quote so we can too. Now we're going to test this hypothesis that all of these fossilized animals actually lived millions of years ago, for example for the Early Jurassic period.

To quote Schadewald:

"Robert E. Sloan, a paleontologist at the University of Minnesota, has studied the Karroo Formation. He told me that the animals fossilized there range from the size of a small lizard to the size of a cow, with the average animal perhaps the size of a fox."


OK break in thought here. I have actually checked this and found that part of this is wrong. And this quote has been used by quite a few evolutionists and even appears on some university posted pages. So we should assume that these astute scientists have checked this quote and are in agreement with it. So there should be no fossils in the Karoo Formation larger than a cow. At least, according to the evolutionists and scientists who are using this quote in their documents against creationists.

That's too bad. I found a few. The approximate dimensions and weight for a dairy cow are 1.8 m high, 2.6 m long and 907 kg weight.

Here's a larger dinosaur:

Karoo dinosaur
Early Jurassic: 200-195 Ma*
Weight: 12 tonnes
Length: 9 m

* Million years ago.

And another:

Karoo dinosaur
Early Jurassic: 201-199 Ma
Weight: 400 kg
Length: 7 m


Note: the approximate height for the dracovenator from the pic would be about 3.7 m. By these dimensions it would be about 5½ times the size of a cow. And if we allow the width to be double also, it could easily be 10 times the size of a cow!

We now loosely follow Schadewald's wording:

Assume that the Karoo Formation contains 0.0001 percent of the living animals in the Karoo from this period. A web page gives this result (see below). If the 800 billion animals in the Karoo Formation could be extrapolated back to living animals, there would be 1000 of them for every acre of habitable land in the region. That's for the Karoo, and that's a pretty big area! And this is a reasonable estimate for the rest of Pangea!

We need to check the supposed period of time for the fossils in the Karoo Formation:

Encompassing almost 500,000 square kilometres, the Karoo stretches across a vast swathe of South Africa and it mantles the Provinces of the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and the south western sections of the Free State.

The Karoo Supergroup is the most widespread stratigraphic unit in Africa south of the Kalahari Desert. The supergroup consists of a sequence of units, mostly of nonmarine origin, deposited between the Late Carboniferous and Early Jurassic, a period of about 120 million years.

OK we are working with a period of 120M years. We need to take that into account.

Now we move a bit more quicker. For the 800 billion fossils we estimate the number of living animals using the rough estimate 1 in a million. Yes it's dodgy, but no more than Schadewald's calculation:

It is often stated in the paleontological literature that the chance an animal will become fossilized is "one in a million." This number is meant to be taken figuratively, the point being that the odds of surviving the rigors of deep time are extremely remote.

So we will use it.

We then obtain 800 billion x 106 or 8 x 1017 living animals.

But that's for the whole period of time: 120M years. We need a generational slice so we can make some sense of this. To have an estimate for this we need to consider some dinosaur life expectancies:

The consensus is now that Apatosaurus and Diplodocus dinosaurs probably only lived for 70 or 80 years, which is about the same as an elephant today.

Tyrannosaurus rex had a life expectancy of about 28 years.

These studies, done in conjunction with paleontologists at AMNH, document that that Tyrannosaurus, which attained a weight of more than 10,000 pounds as an adult, reached sexual maturity at about 20 years of age and lived for up to 28 years.

Of course a lot of the smaller dinosaurs would have had much shorter life spans[1] especially if they were food for the larger ones. So with long ages and short ages let's use the maturity age of 20 yrs for a T-Rex as our rough generational approximation. I think even the most hardened evolutionist would have to agree that this is a very reasonable approximation.

Then for 120M years we obtain 120M ÷ 20 to obtain approximately 6M generations for the animals in the Karoo Formation.

Then the approximate number of animals in one generation will be

8 x 1017 ÷ 6M or approx 1.3 x 1011 animals.

A lot of these were dinosaurs so we will be thinking about our Ledumahadi and Dracovenator dinosaurs from the Early Jurassic. That being the case we will consider our generational slice for the Early Jurassic. That is, one approximate generation of animals somewhere in the Early Jurassic.

Someone may say, wait a minute, the generational population sizes may not have been homogeneous through the 120M years. They probably did fluctuate a bit but for the purpose of this calculation we will use what we have as an estimate.

For the Karoo we have an approximate area of 500,000 The figure varies depending where you look, but the value here is most likely for the habitable region which is where our animals are going to be so it will do nicely.

500,000 is approximately 1.235 x 108 acres [using 1 is approx 247 acres]

We then obtain 1.3 x 1011 divided by 1.235 x 108 giving approximately 1000 animals per acre through the Karoo. And we could take this as a reasonable estimate for the whole habitable region of Pangea.

Finally we close using Schadewald's wording:

Then at the time of the Early Jurassic, there must have been at least 1000 living animals per acre, ranging from tiny megazostrodons* to immense dinosaurs.

* There may have been some smaller animals but this one will do fine.

Karoo animal
Early Jurassic: Hettangian, 201–200 Ma
Weight: 80 g
Length: 12 cm


A funny afterthought

Using 1 acre is approximately 4047 sq.m. gives 1 dino per 4 sq.m.

We will leave our evolutionist friends with the puzzle of how to get our 9 m 12 tonne Ledumahadi dinosaur into a space of 4 sq.m.

But at least it looks like our dinosaurs are trying to be COVID safe!

I have since found another estimate for the area of the Karoo as 400,000
Using this new estimate would give even more animals per acre. But considering the numerical value I obtained above, I'm just going to leave it alone!

We will leave our evolutionist friends with the puzzle of how to get our 9 m 12 tonne Ledumahadi dinosaur into a space of 4 sq.m.

But at least our dinosaurs are trying to be COVID safe!

1. just because I have written that any dinosaur had a life span.... does not necessarily mean that I believe this or that I believe that any of these dinosaurs actually existed.

Temporal range: Hettangian-Sinemurian, 200-195 Ma Ledumahadi (meaning "a giant thunderclap" in Sesotho language) is a genus of lessemsaurid sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Elliot Formation in Free State Province, South Africa. The type and only species is L. mafube, known from a singular incomplete postcranial specimen. A quadruped, it was one of the first giant sauropodomorphs, reaching a weight of around 12 tonnes (26,000 lb), despite not having evolved columnar limbs like its later huge relatives.

At its time in the Early Jurassic epoch, Ledumahadi is thought to have been the largest land animal that had ever lived. It is estimated to have reached a maximum size of around 12 tonnes (26,000 lb) in weight;

The largest known dinosaur of its kind, Ledumahadi weighed over 13 tons (12 metric tons), and reconstructions estimate that it grew over 30 feet (9 meters) long!

Temporal range: Early Jurassic, 201-199 Ma
Dracovenator is a genus of dilophosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 201 to 199 million years ago during the early part of the Jurassic Period in what is now South Africa. Dracovenator was a medium-sized, moderately-built, ground-dwelling, bipedal carnivore, that could grow up to an estimated 7 m (23.0 ft) long. Its type specimen was based on only a partial skull that was recovered.

Dracovenator is estimated to have measured between 5.5 and 6.5 meters (18 and 21 ft) in length. Others estimates suggest that Dracovenator was at most 7 m (23 ft) long and weighed 400 kilograms (882 pounds).

The type material BP/1/5243 for Dracovenator was discovered at the "Upper Drumbo Farm" locality in the upper Elliot Formation which is part of the Stormberg Group in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

The Elliot Formation is a geological formation and forms part of the Stormberg Group, the uppermost geological group that comprises the greater Karoo Supergroup.

Temporal range: Hettangian, 201–200 Ma
Megazostrodon is an extinct Mammaliaform from South Africa that is widely accepted as being one of the first mammals. It is approximately 200 million years old.
Megazostrodon was a small, shrew-like animal between 10 to 12 centimetres (3.9 to 4.7 in) long which probably ate insects and small lizards.
Megazostrodon rudnerae was first discovered in 1966 in Lesotho, southern Africa
Note: Hettangian is the earliest Age in the Early Jurassic Epoch.

In southern Africa, rocks of the Karoo Supergroup cover almost two thirds of the present land surface, including all of Lesotho, almost the whole of Free State, and large parts of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces of South Africa.

Average cow dimensions:


Author: DBCLS TV, Sebastian Wallroth
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Stephen Buckley
E-mail: starvingdinosaurs [at]
Last revised: 20 Feb 2022.
Construction started about 28 Oct 2020.

Page design/construction Stephen Buckley 2020.