Answer by John Mackay
Many years ago sceptic and Geology Professor Ian Plimer made this same challenge in his book Telling Lies for God (Random House, 1994) where he claimed Noah had to take on board two “80 tonne Ultrasaurus dinosaurs”. (pp105 & 115) Other critics have challenged: “How could you fit a four story high Brachiosaurus on a three story high boat?”
But these questions expose a hidden assumption: Why do most people think that all the creatures that got on the ark were overgrown adults? Why not babies or juveniles, and if so, how big was a baby dinosaur? Genesis specifies the size of the ark, but not the size of the animals that came to get on board. However, since it was God who sent the land dwelling, air breathing creatures to Noah, and since this God had told Noah how big to build the Ark, (Genesis 6:14-16) then it shouldn’t surprise you that the same God would have known exactly what size Diamantinasaurus or Deinonychus to send.
So how small could dinosaurs have been? It may surprise you to know that all dinosaur eggs discovered to date can be held in your hand. The largest dinosaur egg known is 16” (41 cm) long. All others are smaller than the biggest bird eggs. It seems that just like their living cousins the crocodiles, dinosaurs hatched out of eggs and were born cute little guys. Just as present day 10cm (4 inch) long baby crocs make neat little pets, so ‘hold in your hand’ size baby dinos would have also.
Noah could easily have taken two of every kind of dinosaur hatchling onto the Ark in his pockets. It also seems that like their living relatives the crocodiles, (and most modern reptiles), dinosaur bones show that dinosaurs grew fairly fast for the first 25 years of their life, and then their growth slowed down – but most never seemed to cease growing till they died. So in the world before the Noah’s Flood where even men lived to nearly 1,000 years of age, a cute little 6 month old Dino could have reached adult size by the time he was 25 and would then grown to be even more impressive by the time he was 250 yrs old.
But it doesn’t matter how big he could have become – only how small he was when he turned up at the bottom of Noah’s plank.
Of course there is one question still in abeyance here. Since the Bible says that God sent two of every kind of land dwelling air breathing creatures to Noah, then did dinosaurs only live on the dry land? Sir Richard Owen who invented the term Dinosaur said so, and it’s been the trend ever since to think this way. Dino’s are certainly reptilian, but then so are sea snakes and crocodiles. Increasingly there is evidence some Dinosaurs lived along the edge of the water (fresh or salt ) where they used the buoyancy of water to hold up their massive weight. Be worth keeping your eye on that research to see where it goes next.
But meanwhile the sceptics’ Brachiosaurus did not arrive as a four story high monster to trying to ruin a three story high boat. He and she arrived as juveniles whose long tail, like that of most reptiles today contained enough food to enable them to survive for the next 18 months if needed. We know that because that’s how long captured crocs can survive on the food stored in their tail before they need to eat again.
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