Placerias (courtesy of Answers in Genesis)
How was your Christmas? Mine was great! I enjoyed all my family and friends, the warmth of a cozy home and the presence of Jesus. And now that it is all over…I have just a little room to breath.
Speaking of room to breathe…this week we are going to touch on the ark animals and discover some new and interesting things…and yes there was plenty of room for everyone to breathe! But did you ever wonder what some of them looked like? Did they just look like different versions of what we have today (which I used to think for a long time)? Or were there some really unusual creatures aboard?
According to Answers in Genesis “Answers Magazine’s” Jan-March 2016 article Reimagining Ark Animals by Mike Belknap and Tim Chaffy, “Our exposure to an abundance of Noah’s Ark illustrations and toys leads people to imagine the Ark filled with lions, tigers, giraffes, and more. But be careful. Beneath these drawings is a faulty assumption that the creatures on Noah’s Ark looked like the ones we see today…
|What the original dog kind may have looked like|
For example, based on fossils found in South America, Thylacosmilus looked like a saber-toothed cat, but it is classified as a metatherian—a category of animal that includes the pouched marsupials. A member of the thylacosmilid kind, this predator sported two long saber-teeth and may have weighed up to 260 pounds (118 kg)…The South American “terror birds” known as phorusrhacids, are rarely, if ever, imagined among the Ark’s animals. Yet they are found in post-Flood sediments and must have had ancestors on the Ark. While Noah probably tended smaller examples, the largest of these predators stood nearly ten feet tall with an 18-inch (0.5 m) hooked beak.
|picture courtesy of Answers in Genesis|
|picture courtesy of Answers in Genesis|
“One of the most bizarre mammal kinds on the Ark was the chalicothere kind. The largest of the beasts in this family, Anisodon grande, stood up to 8.5 feet (2.5 m) at the shoulder. Its front limbs were much longer than the back limbs and ended with palms turned inward, indicating they walked on their knuckles. Certain members of this family even sported bony crests on their heads…But the beauty and diversity of extinct pre-Flood fauna extended beyond the famous dinosaurs and flying reptiles. Alongside our picture-book stars ran other weird creatures that look as though they stepped out of a fantasy film!
“With some members reaching over 30 feet (9 m) in length and weighing an estimated 5 tons (4.5 m. tons),therizinosaurs were among the strangest dinosaurs. These pot-bellied, bipedal plant-eaters featured three giant claws on each hand. The longest claw may have reached three feet (1 m) in length and been used for defense or stripping leaves from trees. Every kind of dinosaur in the picture books was represented on the Ark.
“The Ark also carried representatives of all the other so-called “prehistoric” reptiles, birds, and amphibians, if theywere unique from other known kinds. Simosuchus was a pug-nosed, short-tailed, crocodile-like reptile. At maturity, these animals were less than 3 feet (1 m) in length and covered with bony plates, called scutes. They were apparently plant-eaters, exhibiting leaf-shaped buckteeth set in boxy skulls— not what you think of when you hear “crocodile.”
(Prionosuchus). And mammals known to have eaten small dinosaurs (Repenomamus). And four-legged snakes (Tetrapodophis). And bizarre
synapsids like Estemmenosuchus and Cotylorhynchus, land-dwelling animals that were neither mammals nor like living reptiles.
“The spectacular menagerie of beasts on the Ark wasconsiderably more diverse than any of the world’s zoos. Incorporating all of the extinct land animals on the Ark greatly enhances our picture of what Noah may have experienced daily in caring for them.
Contemplating the vast array of animals leads us to recognize the severity of mankind’s sin. Even though God graciously spared the Ark kinds from complete destruction in the Flood, roughly half of the land-dwelling, air-breathing kinds have since gone extinct trying to survive in this sin-cursed world. Our hearts yearn for the day that our gracious Creator will deliver His creation from the bondage of sin’s corruption.”1
I encourage you to google Answers in Genesis to look further into this fascinating subject. They do an excellent job! And in my novel, Of One Tongue, I tried to reflect on some of these animals kinds…read it and find out!
Until next time, get out there and enjoy God’s wonderful and unique creation!