Dinosaurs are unique creatures that have fascinated mankind from when they first unearthed them back in the 1800’s. Here is seven facts on dinosaurs from a creationist’s point of view.
Dinosaurs were a created kind unique from all other animals. Dinosaurs are a group of land animals that are quite different from amphibians, mammals, and even reptiles living today. Dinosaurs went extinct while amphibians, reptiles, and mammals that were also found alongside dinosaur fossils are alive today.
Dinosaurs were created on the sixth day of creation week (Genesis 1:24-25). They fall in the category of “beasts of the earth”. Actually the Bible refers to them as dragons. When the King James Bible was published in 1611, the translators did not have the word “Dinosaur” in their vocabulary as of yet. The word “Dinosaur” was not around until 1841, when Sir Richard Owen made this word which means “terrible lizard” to describe these magnificent “beasts”.
Dinosaurs had a unique body structure different from reptiles. Dinosaurs walked with their legs underneath their body unlike reptiles of today such as lizards that walk with a side to side motion because their legs come out the side of their body and hinge down. What sets dinosaurs apart from reptiles we see today is primarily their hip structure and the fact that they lived on land. Dinosaurs had hips that placed their legs beneath them, like a cow or an elephant. These hips designate erect stance. Two different types of dinosaur hips have been recognized. One is called the “lizard hip” (saurischian) and the other is called the “bird hip” (ornithischian). As far as is known, there are no animals alive today, which have either a “lizard hip” or a “bird hip”. Only dinosaurs which are extinct now had these types of hip structure. Another distinguishing feature of dinosaurs are the structure of their skulls. All dinosaurs had skulls with peculiar openings in the sides. This help make their skulls lightweight. Vertebrae in dinosaurs were lightweight.They feature depressions, raised ridges and hollow portions. The sauropod dinosaurs had this type of vertebrae. Sauropods had small skulls supported by long necks. Sauropods had long tails, some were whiplike, especially the Diplodocus and Apatosaurus.
Dinosaurs had variation within each kind not a new species from another kind. It is clear from fossils that many dinosaur kinds expressed slightly different traits both within and between generations. For example, some paleontologists are now convinced that Dracorex hogwartia, which had many horns around its head that made it look very much like depictions of European and Chinese dragons, lost its horns as it grew into a larger Pachycephalosaurus.
Dinosaurs had a reptilian type of scaly skin. Paleontologists found fossilized skin impressions, which clearly shows scales or thickened bumps of skin, just like many living reptiles of today. Dinosaurs did not have feathers like birds or fur like mammals. Dinosaurs were a distinct group of reptiles. George Sternberg discovered a duck-billed dinosaur mummy in 1908 in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation. In 1912 Henry Osborn photographed and describe its skin.
Dinosaur tracks revealed that they did not drag their tails behind them. Dinosaur trackways around the world all show only footprints of dinosaurs and no tail marks. One such trackway at the Paluxy River in North Texas show that the footprints were preserved by rapid covering and hardening of mud due to a worldwide flood. The flood of Genesis 6-8 explains these tracks.
Dinosaur graveyards speak of the great worldwide Flood that buried them. Dinosaur fossils most often occur as mineralized bone fragments within a single sedimentary rock layer, sometimes only three or so feet thick, sandwiched between layers that have very few fossils. One such “bone yard” discovered in Canada covers a square mile and is loaded with what must have been an enormous Centrosaurus herd. Many bone yards lie in the western United States. It was not local floods that caused this. There has not been one fossil made from a local flood. Something very different was required to spread the dinosaur body parts into a thin, flat mud layer, sometimes stretching across several states, and then cover over them with another mud layer before hardening. A rapid burial explains what really caused fossil graveyards because the bones did not have enough time to rot.
There is many facts about dinosaurs, but the main fact is God created them on day 6 of creation week and He gets all the honor, glory and thanks (Revelation 4:11) for creating these magnificent “beasts of the earth” the same day He created His ultimate creation: Adam (man) (Genesis 1:26-28). Amen!