Were there dinosaurs in the ark?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Dinosaurs in the Ark

The story of Noah’s Ark, found in the book of Genesis, is one of the most iconic and debated narratives in the Bible. Among the many questions it raises, one that often arises is whether dinosaurs were present on the ark and if they could have fit. In this essay, we will delve into the biblical account of Noah’s Ark, examine the potential presence of dinosaurs, and consider logistical aspects regarding their accommodation on the ark.

The Story of Noah’s Ark

The story of Noah’s Ark, recounted in Genesis chapters 6-9, describes God’s judgment upon the earth due to its wickedness and Noah’s obedience in building an ark to preserve life during the flood. God instructs Noah to build an ark according to specific dimensions: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high (Genesis 6:15). The ark is to be constructed of gopher wood and divided into three decks, with rooms, door, and window (Genesis 6:16).

The biblical account of Noah’s Ark specifies that Noah was instructed to take pairs of every kind of land-dwelling animal, including birds, livestock, and creeping things, onto the ark to preserve their species during the flood (Genesis 6:19-20). Additionally, Noah was directed to bring food for himself and the animals to sustain them throughout their time on the ark (Genesis 6:21).

Dinosaurs in Ark

Dinosaurs (land vertebrates) were represented on the Ark. In Genesis 6:19–20, the Bible says that two of every sort of land vertebrate (seven of the “clean” animals) were brought by God to the Ark.  And we have evidence that dinosaurs lived after the flood because Job writes about the “behemoth” in Job 40:15–24.

One of the primary challenges in considering the presence of dinosaurs on the ark is their size. Dinosaurs, particularly some of the larger species such as sauropods and theropods, were massive creatures that could reach lengths of up to 100 feet or more and weigh several tons. Accommodating such large animals on a wooden vessel presents logistical difficulties and raises questions about the ark’s capacity.

Several hypotheses have been proposed regarding how dinosaurs could have been accommodated on Noah’s Ark. One possibility is that juvenile or smaller specimens of dinosaurs were taken aboard the ark to represent their kind. This would have allowed for greater space efficiency while still preserving the genetic diversity of the dinosaur population.

How Did they Fit in the Ark?

Although there are about 668 names of dinosaurs, there are perhaps only 55 different “kinds” of them. Furthermore, not all dinosaurs were huge like the brachiosaurus, and those creatures that were taken on board were probably very young in age. Young dinosaurs would be small, easier to care of, and would use less food. The marine creatures did not get into the vessel but remained outside in the waters the covered the earth.

Creationist researcher John Woodmorappe has calculated that Noah had on board with him representatives from about 8,000 animal genera, or around 16,000 individual animals as a maximum number.

According to Genesis 6:15, the Ark measured 300 x 50 x 30 cubits, which is about 510 x 85 x 51 feet, with a volume of about 2.21 million cubic feet. Researchers have shown that this is the equivalent volume of over 500 semitrailers of space. So, 16,000 plus animals would have fit in much less than half the space in the Ark.

After the Flood, many parts of the world became too harsh for the dinosaurs. The Flood and the changes it caused in the environment are the main reason that these creatures died off gradually. And because humans feared them, they hunted them out until they got extinct. It was not just these creatures that died off. Great numbers of other creatures have become extinct. In fact, in the last 350 years alone, almost 400 species have disappeared.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the question of whether dinosaurs were present on Noah’s Ark remains a subject of debate. While the Bible does not explicitly mention dinosaurs in the context of the flood narrative, some individuals and groups propose that dinosaurs were among the animals taken onto the ark to ensure their survival during the cataclysmic event. These dinosaurs were the land kinds with the smaller bodies. Ultimately, the story of Noah’s Ark invites us to consider themes of obedience, faith, and God’s providential care for creation, regardless of the specific details regarding the animals involved.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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