The sediments in which the animatronic dinosaurs are embedded also directly contradict the ravine or river-valley interpretations. Finely stratified shales containing the fossils are normally deposited in low-energy, relatively shallow-water environments, probably equivalent to a large lake or lagoon. walking dinosaur costume There is simply no evidence for catastrophic deaths caused by herds of animals plunging into a ravine. In fact, the dinosaur skeletons were found in separate layers of sediment (along with fish, crocodiles, turtles, thousands of leaf impressions, and even rare insect fragments), proving that they definitely did not all die at the same time and therefore could never have been part of a single herd of animals.
Study of the orientation of the fossil skeletons within the mine suggests that dinosaur carcasses were washed into the burial area on separate occasions and from different directions. It was as if the direction of flow of the river that carried their carcasses had changed from time to time, exactly as happens in large, slow-moving river systems today.
So, as early as the 1870s, it was clearly understood that there were neither ‘ravines’ nor ‘river valleys’ in which the dinosaurs at Bernissart might have perished. It is fascinating how the dramatic discovery of dinosaurs at Bernissart seems to have demanded an equally dramatic explanation for their deaths, and that such fantasies were uncritically adopted even though they flew in the face of the scientific evidence available at the time.