Dragons in Paradise by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
Let's look at a less controversial but little known group of Giants, the giant mammals and other giant non dinosaurs we'll call Mega Fauna. Dragonflies with 2 to three foot wingspans, giant centipedes Click and drag photo to resize. Script from The Java Script Source
6 feet long, trees that grow to only a few feet today, grew to almost 100 feet according to the fossil record.
These are almost as awe inspiring as the dinosaurs, but are rarely considered. How do these giant forms fit in with the theory of evolution? Not very well.
One of the questions frequently asked about dinosaurs to challenge the Noah's Ark story is; How did Noah get the Dinosaurs on the ark"?
A rather easy answer that has been suggested on the earlier dino pages is that dinosaurs as reptiles, grow every year that they live and begin life quite small--usually hatching from eggs.
There's no reason to put a 75 year old house sized dinosaur on the ark when his cat sized brother will suffice. The same question is rarely asked about the giant mammals, as people seem to generally be unaware of them. However, the bones of giant non-dinosaurs have also been found.
What conditions could have existed on the earth which would account for extreme size in some men & animals?
For example, the chart above shows several animals in proper scale with a six foot human;a twenty foot tall giant sloth, a twelve foot bird and a hornless rhinocerous which stood 18 feet high and 27 feet long.
Wyatt on Giant Animals
The following is excerpted from an article in Ron Wyatt's Newletter.
"The Bible says that before the flood, men lived as long as 900 years and then some. If men lived that long, why wouldn't the animals? And if they did live that long, note this next fact: "...a reptile has the potential of growing throughout its life..." Unlike other animals, the reptile has no "cutoff" mechanism whereby it stops growing in size.
So, even if reptiles lived only half as long as pre-flood men, we would have to expect gigantic reptiles before the flood.
John MacKay once told me that crocodiles (or was it alligators?) grew at the rate of 20 or so feet per 100 years. If that's the case, there should be giant alligators fossils, right?
In 1991, alligator bones were found on the banks of the Amazon River-the skull was almost 5 feet long. Based on this, scientists estimated its height to have been 8 feet (when walking) and its length 40 feet (the size of a railroad boxcar).
"Professor Carl Frailey, from Overland Park, Kansas, said the creature probably weighed around 12 tonnes. `This would make it about a tonne heavier than Tyrannosaurus Rex... the mightiest of dinosaur predators', he said." In short, if reptiles today lived longer, they would be "dinosaurs" in a few hundred years."(super croc image from National Geographic)
Other Giant Fossils
What we don't hear about are all the other giant fossils that have been found. "Giant animal fossils of many different kinds have been found all over the world. A book called Giants From the Past, published by the National Geographic Society, shows many of these huge creatures of the past no longer exist today.
Fossil remains of the hornless rhinoceros (right, left panel)indicate it was over 17 feet tall. Pigs grew to be the size of cattle; camels were over 12 feet tall; huge Click and drag photo to resize. Script from The Java Script Source
At far right, Dr. Kenneth E. Campbell, in front of the twenty-five foot wingspan Argentavis Magnificens, displayed at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. The feather size from such a bird is estimated to have been 1.5 meters long (60 inches); and 20 centimeters wide (8 inches).
Birds towered to a height of over 11 feet; (this moa is a model--photo by Condliffe, 1971) giant beavers grew to be the size of a pig; deer antlers measured over 12 feet in width.
Ground sloths which grow to the size of an average monkey today, have been found in the fossil record over 18 feet in length." Isn't it strange how no one feels compelled to explain where these giants fall in the "geologic time frame"? And not only the animals, but plant life was much bigger, as well as man.
"Dinosaur" Bones Much Thicker than Today's Animals
Galileo, in the 17th century, first pointed out the principle of the "scale effect"- a lengthy subject, but one we'll touch on briefly. The "scale effect" concerns simple relationships of length to surface to volume and weight. .... the bones of an animal 3 times the length of a present-day animal would have to increase in density far more than 3 times in order to support the bulk of the animal due to the gravitational force. He wrote:
"...it would be impossible to fashion skeletons for men, horses or other animals which could exist or carry out their functions proportionately when such animals were increased to immense height- unless the bones were made of much harder and more resistant material than the usual, or were deformed by disproportionate thickening, so that the shape and appearance of the animal would become monstrously gross."
The giant bones of the antediluvians- both men and animals, fulfill Galileo's observations. Scientists don't recognize these massive bones as the same "kinds" of animals we have today because their bones are extremely massive." Wyatt, Newsletter Five
From Genesis Park
"The terrible lizards are certainly not the only creatures that grew to fantastic size on the early earth. Fossil ferns have been discovered the size of trees and horsetails once shot up over thirty feet tall.
There were cockroaches about two feet long, as well as crickets, grasshoppers and monstrous spiders that thrived in a land of endless summer.
Dragonflies with a three foot wingspan skimmed over swamps in which eight-foot beavers and sixty-foot cattails flourished. Beetles once grew to be the size of a baseball mitt and climbed up conifers that towered a hundred feet high.
The fossil record is replete with examples of immense creatures that flourished in the past. Huge rodents like the giant guinea pig grew as big as a modern rhinoceros while the ancient rhino grew as big as a two-story building. GenesisPark.com
Giant Beaver Skull
This is the skull of a giant "extinct" beaver currently exhibited at the St Louis Science Center. The giant beaver was 8 feet long--as large as a modern black bear. It lived in the lakes and streams, but there is no evidence it built dams like modern beavers do. .St Louis Science Center
Giant penguin fossil found ... Ananova, 2000 :
Archaeologists have found the fossil remains of a giant penguin that was almost as big as a man. Experts reckon the bones they've discovered prove the bird was around 1.5 metres (5 feet)tall and weighed 60kg. A dig uncovered the fossil in a quarry near Oamaru on New Zealand's South Island.
Numerous people reported a giant penguin seen on Clearwater Beach in 1948. The huge bird was described as 15 feet tall and supposedly left big tracks along the beach. During this same period, some people in a boat off the Gulf coast reported seeing an extremely large penguin-like bird floating on the water.
These incidents were reported in several newspapers. In the same year, another big penguin-like bird was seen by a private airplane pilot on the banks of the Suwannee River in North Florida. The famed investigator of the unknown, the late Ivan Sanderson, conducted a scientific inquiry into both cases. No conclusion or explanation was ever reached.
The Australian Megafauna
Evidence of the former existence of the Australian Megafauna was known by the Aborigines, and was soon discovered by the earliest European settlers. A large collection of fossils from Wellington Caves, west of Sydney, was sent to England by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1831 for examination by the renowned Sir Richard Owen.
(Photo:Procoptodon)Other specimens were sent by Leichardt, Strzelecki and Goyder, and Owen was progressively able to identify a number of large extinct marsupials and birds. The newly established Australian museums became involved in subsequent decades, with major excavations of fossils from sites in most states.
The Diprotodontids are perhaps the best known of the Australian Megafauna. There were several species of these large herbivorous marsupials, with Diprotodon optatum being the largest. This giant was the size of a rhinoceros - three metres long (10 feet)and two metres high at the shoulder, (6.5 feet)and has the distinction of being the largest marsupial ever.
Late last century, the South Australian Museum obtained a large amount of fossil material related to Diprotodon from Lake Callabonna in the north of the state.
Subsequent preparation enabled articulated casts of the animal to be added to the collections of a number of museums, including those of Museum Victoria.
Apart from Diprotodon, there are perhaps half a dozen other species which are often cited as being representative of the Australian Megafauna. The Zygomaturus trilobus was a bullock-sized relative of Diprotodon which may have had either rhinoceros-like horns or a short trunk.
The Palorchestes azael was the size of a bull, with long claws and a longish trunk. Imaginative writers have suggested it as the inspiration for the Aboriginal bunyip.
Th Procoptodon goliah was the largest kangaroo ever,(11.5 feet) and had a shortened flat face and forward-looking eyes.
The Thylacoleo carnifex, the so-called 'Marsupial Lion', was a leopard-like animal, and was almost certainly carnivorous and a tree-dweller.
The Zaglossus hacketti, a sheep-sized echidna whose remains were discovered in Mammoth Cave in Western Australia, was probably the largest monotreme ever.
The Dromornis stirtoni was a huge flightless bird; with a height of at least three metres (10 feet)and a weight of over half a tonne, it is the heaviest bird known.
The Megalania prisca was an enormous goanna-like carnivore, at least 7 metres long,(about 23 feet) and with a weight of about 600 kilograms.
Mega Fauna--No Real Place in Evolution
One reason that Giant mammals aren't currently well known is that they aren't discussed very much by the scientific community--not like dinosaurs are. Evolutionary theory doesn't do that great a job of explaining why such large animals were the ancestors of the smaller animals living today.
It's one thing if all these extinct animals are different species than exist today (and in some cases they are) but quite another if the primary difference is that they were giant animals.
Scientists solve this problem by the use of the scientific term; "LIKE". For instance, if a 12 foot St. Bernard were to walk across their lawn, they would describe it as a "Dog-Like creature, rather than a dog.
In this case also, the Bible provides only a few clues about giant animals. The Bible says that men lived at one time much longer than they do now, and perhaps animals did too. However, mammals unlike reptiles, to not continue to grow throughout their lives.
One theory that has been advanced by creationists(Center for Scientific Creation) science is that prior to the flood, a vapor canopy covered the earth (the Bible says that it had not rained prior to the flood and that the land was watered by a mist that fell upon the earth)--some theorize that the vapor canopy would have blocked out harmful radiation which gets through now.
Further, the canopy would have created an almost perfect year round temperature. There is of course no way to prove this theory but the fact that plants, animals and man were bigger than they are today can be seen from the fossil record.
The Problem With Mega Fauna
Some scientists have identified a serious problem with the larger Mega Fauna (mega fauna are animals weighing more than 100 pounds). From what we know about gravity and muscle strength, the bird with the 30 ft wingspan for example should not have been able to get off the ground.
Yet, it was not a flightless bird. Another animal that could fly, the Pteradactyl and its cousins had wingspreads of up to nearly 60 feet. Although the wings folded, what did they do with them while on the ground?
The very largest birds today who weigh just a fraction of what that bird weighed, and they get into the air with some difficulty. Other animals, particularly the very large dinosaurs should have had quite a bit of trouble moving those vast amounts of weight around.
The larger elephants living today seem to be almost at the extreme of supportable body weight versus muscle strength, yet many of the dinosaurs weighed many times more.
The Hornless rhino, pictured above was almost eighteen feet high and 27 feet long. It was probably by far the biggest mammal ever. How did its legs support that kind of weight? How could an animal that big be strong enough to get up once it had laid down?
I'm not endorsing his solution to this problem, but some interesting ideas have been put forth in; The Attenuated Gravity of the Antique System, by Ted Holden
May 1956. This giant turtle was seen by the crew of the fishing boat Rhapsody off the coast of Nova Scotia. Walter Molino in La Domenica del Corriere, 24 June 1956 -Fortean Times
Center for Scientific Creation.. In the Beginning
Truth Radio..Creation Science Radio Hour
Dr Dino.com/ Creation Science Evangelism