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Discovery Magazine 9/1/1998

Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?

In the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis, we read about how wicked people on the Earth had become. The Bible says this caused God to be "…grieved in His heart" (Genesis 6:6). Then the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the Earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them" (6:7).

But one man, Noah, was righteous (6:8-9). God told Noah that He was going to send a flood to destroy the wicked people. He also told Noah to build a large ship called an "ark" that would save him, his family, and many of Earth’s living creatures from this flood. God commanded Noah to take two of each unclean animal (male and female), and seven of each clean animal (male and female), into the ark (7:2). The Bible says, "And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him."

People often wonder: Were dinosaurs on Noah’s ark? Yes, they were! Scientifically, dinosaurs are defined as land-living animals. But the Bible tells us that all land-living animals and people outside the ark died in the flood (7:21). We know, however, that some dinosaurs must have survived the flood, because the book of Job (which was written long after the flood) mentions animals that appear to have been what we call dinosaurs (read Job 40:15-24). The fact that God talked to Job about dinosaurs that were living after the flood shows us that dinosaurs still were alive. But how could dinosaurs (which live only on land) have survived the flood—unless they were on the ark?

You might ask how animals as large as dinosaurs could fit into Noah’s ark. First, it is important to remember that the ark was about 450 feet long (one-and-a-half football fields!), 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. Until 1858 (just 140 years ago), it was the largest sea-going vessel ever built. Some scientists have suggested that even when all the animals were in the ark, it still was only half full. [Remember that only land-living animals had to enter the ark; those in the oceans did not.] Second, it may be possible that God allowed Noah to take into the ark young animals, or even animals in eggs. That would save a lot of space. Third, it was God Who created all the animals, and it was God Who told Noah how to build the ark. Because of this, we can be sure that God knew how big the ark should be.

Were dinosaurs on Noah’s ark? Yes! It was an awesome and powerful God Who created the dinosaurs. He is the same God we love and serve today.

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