This article is from
Creation 41(4):32–35, July 2019

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Images: Alamy Leonello Calvetti, Vladimir Grigorevtitle-img-heading

Creation for Kids

How did dinosaurs survive the Flood?

by Erin Hughes and Lita Sanders (nee Cosner)

Published in Creation 41(4):32–35, 2019

Last time, we learned that dinosaurs and man lived together. But if people saw dinosaurs and wrote about them, that means they must have survived Noah’s Flood. And that means they must have been on Noah’s Ark! The Bible tells us that outside the Ark, every creature “on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life” died. Dinosaurs were land animals (plesiosaurs and similar ‘sea dragons’ are not classified as dinosaurs).

God instructed Noah to take with him a pair (male and female) of every kind (seven pairs of some) of airbreathing land animal aboard the Ark (Genesis 6). So it shouldn’t be strange to think dinosaurs were on the Ark.

Could dinosaurs fit on Noah’s Ark?

Yes. The Ark was big enough to fit dinosaurs, all the other animals, and all the supplies. Actually, there would have been room left for many people in the Ark as well. The Bible gives us an idea of just how huge the Ark really was. God told Noah to make the Ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. A cubit is an ancient measurement based on the distance from an adult elbow to the fingertips—generally around 45 cm (1½ ft). To put this in perspective, the Ark could have held over 500 railroad stock cars; each could have contained over 200 medium-sized animals. There weren’t actually many types of dinosaurs. It is estimated that God only created around fifty dinosaur kinds, so if Noah took a male and female of each dinosaur kind into the ark, he would have only had to house one hundred dinosaurs. That really isn’t very many!

Images: Psihoyos.com, Vladimir Rimbala CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons, 123rf.com/Sunthorn Viriyapandinosaur-egg-footprint
‘Baby Louie’ (1996) tucked up in his Macroelongatoolithus dinosaur egg (left). In 2017, someone made a reconstruction of ‘Baby Louie’ and thought it was smart to give him feathers (middle) which, of course, you can see he never had. Dinosaur footprint (right).

How big were the dinosaurs Noah took into the Ark?

Dinosaurs, like humans and most other animals, start life being very small. All dinosaurs come from eggs; most dinosaur eggs are smaller than footballs, and even the biggest one is about the same size as an ostrich egg. So this just confirms all dinosaurs were very small when they started out. It is very possible Noah would have taken juvenile dinosaurs aboard the Ark. Some research suggests that starting at about age five, certain dinosaurs might have experienced a growth spurt in which they possibly grew up to five tonnes per year.

Not all dinosaurs were big. The size of adult dinosaurs ranged from slightly larger than a chicken to 100 tonnes—about as big as a commercial fishing vessel. The average size of a dinosaur was around the size of a bison/buffalo.

Dinosaur tracks, footprints, and eggs

Lots of people think that the Flood covered the entire earth very quickly. But the Bible says that the water of Noah’s Flood took a while to cover the whole world—the rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights before the mountains were covered. As the water rose, it would occasionally recede a little in places, exposing high land. Animals that could swim, like some types of dinosaurs, could temporarily take refuge on exposed land. We see lots of animal tracks in these places. Sometimes dinosaurs laid their eggs there.

Eventually all the dinosaurs outside the Ark died, but their footprints and eggs show that it took a while for that to happen. These footprints and eggs would have then been rapidly covered with new sediment during the Flood, preserving them as fossils.

After the Flood

In the Bible, the book of Job speaks of a huge creature called Behemoth. God describes Behemoth as a grass eater (herbivore), having bones like beams of bronze, and having a tail like one of the largest trees that Job knew of. While the Bible doesn’t tell us what kind of creature this is, it sure sounds like one of the biggest dinosaurs, like Brachiosaurus (Job 40: 15–24)! This is further evidence that dinosaurs were in fact on the Ark and lived after the Flood.

Fast facts!

Fast facts

  • Order: Saurischia—lizard-hipped dinosaurs
  • Clade: Sauropoda (sauropods)—four-footed herbivore
  • Size: 22 m (75 ft) long and 35 tonnes
  • Diet: plant-eater
  • Fossil finds: North America—Colorado, Wyoming and Utah; Europe—Portugal; Africa—Tanzania & Algeria
brachiosaurSCIEPRO/Science Photo Library
Posted on homepage: 22 May 2024

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Titans of the Earth, Sea, and Air
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