Not quite so shocking:
July 19, 2007 (PhysOrg.com) – Fossils discovered in the oft-painted arroyos of northern New Mexico show for the first time that dinosaurs and their non-dinosaur ancestors lived side by side for tens of millions of years, disproving the notion that dinosaurs rapidly replaced their supposedly outmoded predecessors.
The fossils were excavated from the Hayden Quarry at Ghost Ranch, an area made famous through the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe, by a team of paleontologists from the University of California, Berkeley, the American Museum of Natural History and The Field Museum. The finds, including fossil bones of a new dinosaur predecessor the researchers have named Dromomeron romeri, are described in a cover story in the July 20 issue of Science.
“Up to now, paleontologists have thought that dinosaur precursors disappeared long before the dinosaurs appeared, that their ancestors probably were out-competed and replaced by dinosaurs and didn’t survive,” said co-author Kevin Padian, professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley and a curator in the campus’s Museum of Paleontology. “Now, the evidence shows that they may have coexisted for 15 or 20 million years or more.”
Of course, the overall interpretation of the data is incorrect given the evolutionary framework in which it was interpreted, but it is good evidence that dinosaurs and their “ancestors” lived at the same time. This won’t come as much of a surprise to Creationists, though.