Why do dinosaurs no longer walk the earth?
Did all the dinosaurs die—as many evolutionists claim—because earth’s collision with an asteroid wrecked ancient ecosystems, decimating dinosaur populations and leading to their mass extinction?
Or can the disappearance of dinosaurs be explained by some other catastrophe? Many dinosaurs died in the global Flood, but not all of them! Two of every kind of air-breathing, land-dwelling animal—and that includes dinosaurs—were on board Noah’s Ark to ride out the Flood, so there were still dinosaurs on the earth after the Flood.
So what happened? How did dinosaurs die out?
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Dinosaur fossils are found in the fossil record only below the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary. The evolutionary timescale, which is based on many unverifiable assumptions, suggests a “mass extinction” associated with the K-T boundary occurred about 65 million years ago. Thin sediment layers at the K-T boundary contain lots of iridium, and evolutionary scientists claim the iridium must have come from an asteroid because they think most of earth’s iridium should have sunk down into molten mantle millions of years earlier. Therefore they presume a cosmic catastrophe killed the dinosaurs.
While the Chicxulub impact crater near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula memorializes the impact of an enormous chunk of space debris, it remains an insufficient explanation. There seems to be too much iridium dispersed over the earth to be explained by just an asteroid. Iridium coughed up by volcanic activity also explains these layers. According to the Bible, when the global Flood of Noah’s day began, “
the fountains of the great deep were broken up” (Genesis 7:11). Such catastrophic fracturing of earth’s crust would have been accompanied by gargantuan and unprecedented volcanism. Thus, volcanic activity associated with the global Flood is also a reasonable explanation for iridium at the K-T boundary.
According to biblical history, about 6,000 years ago God created dinosaurs, all other kinds of animals, and man. Man’s sin brought death into this perfect world (Romans 5:12–14; Romans 8:22; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22). Eventually, about 4,300 years ago, God judged man’s wickedness with a worldwide Flood.
Many layers in the fossil record were formed as organisms were catastrophically buried during the year of Noah’s Flood. Dinosaurs disappear above the K-T boundary—regardless of the source of its iridium—because the Flood and its aftermath dumped additional sediment on top of those dinosaur-bearing layers that were formed when their habitats were overwhelmed and buried.
Billions of animals were buried in the global Flood, but the Flood did not kill all the dinosaurs. God wanted animals preserved for a new start in the post-Flood world. When God told Noah to build an Ark to keep his family safe, He instructed Noah to take at least two of every kind of air-breathing, land-dwelling animal onto the Ark. Therefore, a pair of every dinosaur kind was on the Ark. At the end of the Flood, these dinosaurs disembarked. But the world was very different from the one they had left.
The global Flood not only changed earth’s surface but also created conditions that produced the Ice Age and ultimately long term changes in climate patterns. All animals had to adjust to new conditions as they reproduced and repopulated the world. Historical accounts and artistic depictions produced in the four thousand plus years since the global Flood have shown that many people around the world have long been familiar with animals that looked like dinosaurs. Therefore it is probable that some kinds of dinosaurs, though rare, were still alive until several centuries ago.
The same sorts of problems that drive today’s animals to extinction took their toll on earth’s remaining dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs faced the same sorts of challenges in the post-Flood world that endangered animals do today. In addition to adjusting to habitat changes, alterations in food availability, and competition from other animals, post-Flood dinosaur populations may have gradually succumbed to diseases or been hunted until their populations dwindled. So how did dinosaurs die? The same sorts of problems that drive today’s animals to extinction took their toll on earth’s remaining dinosaurs. But just as we don’t need a cosmic culprit like a giant asteroid to explain the extinction of other animals, we don’t need it to explain why we don’t find dinosaurs in our zoos either.
The Bible contains God’s eyewitness account of history and is essential for knowing the truth about earth’s past. The history of human beings and the history of dinosaurs really did cross paths. We need God’s reliable account in the Bible to rightly understand the stony remnants of a time long gone, such as days when so many dinosaurs were entombed. But we also need the Bible to understand much more that God our Creator wants us to know about our history, ourselves, and about Jesus Christ our Savior.