Did dinosaurs really live at the same time as humans? Genesis 1 claims that God created every “kind” of land animal on the same day as Adam. Later Noah took representatives of every kind on the Ark. That required only about fifty dinosaur kinds on board. (Dinosaurs are divided into only about fifty families.)
Dinosaurs are used more than any other animal to persuade people to believe in millions of years and evolution. Yet God clearly claims that He created the land animals on Day Six along with man. In light of who God is and His eyewitness testimony, we should not be ashamed to build our understanding of dinosaurs upon His Word, even if some people disagree. Dinosaurs make perfect sense in light of the biblical history of creation and the Flood.
There are thousands of dinosaur names, so some skeptics ask, “How could two of every kind of dinosaur fit on the Ark?” The key to unlocking the answer is found in Genesis 7:14–15.
The Bible states that two of every kind of land animal and seven of some went onto the Ark. It doesn’t say two of every species went onto the Ark but “kinds.” There are thousands of species of dinosaurs, but there are only about fifty families of dinosaurs. And since the biblical kind is thought to correspond to the family level in most cases, there would have been only about one hundred dinosaurs on the Ark—not thousands.
“Every beast after its kind . . . went into the ark to Noah, two by two.” Genesis 7:14–16
For instance, there are many different long-neck sauropods, such as Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus, Saltasaurus, and Diplodocus, but only two needed to go onto the Ark if they were just one kind. This fact dramatically reduces the estimated number of dinosaurs on the Ark. Also, even though some dinosaurs grew to be large creatures, the average size was only about the size of a large sheep or bison. Even the largest dinosaurs were quite small when hatched. The Lord may have selected younger (and therefore smaller) representatives of some of the larger kinds, so there was plenty of room for all of the dinosaur kinds aboard the Ark.
If dinosaurs sailed on the Ark, where are they today? Different animal species become extinct every day for various reasons. After the Flood, the environment and habitat were drastically changed. Many dinosaurs may not have been as suited to the post-Flood world because of these changes. Interestingly, it appears that some of the dinosaur kinds that did survive a long time after the Flood became known as dragons. Dragon legends abound all over the world.
We can confidently build our understanding of dinosaurs—like everything else in life—on the truth of God’s Word.