How Could Noah and His Family Care for the Many Animals on Board the Ark? | The Institute for Creation Research

How Could Noah and His Family Care for the Many Animals on Board the Ark?

Detractors from the Bible story of the Flood have scoffed at the idea of just a few people carrying out all the duties of animal care for a year. Without a doubt, it would have been a daunting task considering the number of animals and the frightening circumstances, but would it have been impossible?

Earlier studies have shown that the total number of animals in question are less than the millions the detractors envision. Noah was told to take two of each "kind" of animal on board, probably represented by today's "families" or "genera" rather than species. For instance, the dog "kind" includes many species—wolf, domestic dog, dingo, coyote, etc. Furthermore, most animal types are small, only a few dozen are large, making the average size something on the order of a cat. (John Woodmorappe's excellent book, Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study, looks into this issue in depth.) The great majority of today's animals live in the sea and did not need to be on board.

But how about those inside? Cooped up for months, pitching and rolling with the Ark, surrounded by the noise of the storm and the presence of other animals (Genesis 7:21-22). How would they cope? And what about the meat-eaters?

It's well known that all animals can survive on a meatless diet. Care must be taken to satisfy their nutritional needs, but it is possible. Some carnivores even choose a vegetarian lifestyle. Other animal studies have noted that some animals, such as the bear, hibernate to survive times of undue stress. Many other animals (and perhaps nearly all) are able to enter into a
period of relative dormancy or estivation when faced with a danger they cannot overcome and from which they cannot flee. In such a state they require minimal food and exercise, and excrete little. In such a state, aggressive tendencies are ignored. The presence of a common, overwhelming predicament eliminates former predator/prey relationships.

Scripture actually hints at such a situation. Noah was told to build an Ark equipped with "rooms" for the animals. (Genesis 6:14). But the Hebrew word used is everywhere else rendered "nests," as in (Deuteronomy 32:11) where it applies to birds, but it's also applied to a place of rest and safety for humans too (Job 29:18). Is this an indication that the animals were to merely snuggle up and wait until the danger was over?

There is no way of knowing, of course, because this was a unique event, not repeatable nor testable in the present and the only One who knows didn't give us all the details. But wouldn't it be just like Noah's gracious God to make the job easier for him?

One final thought. The origin of this mysterious hibernation ability has no ready explanation in science. Might we not suppose that the loving Creator endowed animals onboard the Ark with this survival mechanism? There was probably no need for such an ability before the Flood. All animals today are descended from those on the Ark and all have inherited it. Since science has no better explanation for its origin, this supposition, which fits all the facts, should be given due consideration.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2005. How Could Noah and His Family Care for the Many Animals on Board the Ark?. Acts & Facts. 34 (8).

The Latest
NEWS
Invasion of the Giant Lizards
We are already contending with the COVID-19 virus and the recent spate of murder hornets in the Pacific Northwest, but now sobering news coming out of...

NEWS
Many Martian Volcanoes May Be Mudflows
Tens of thousands of volcano-looking features exist across the northern lowlands and other areas across Mars.1 In the past, these volcanoes...

ACTS & FACTS
A Believer's Response to Challenging Times
As I write this, stay-at-home mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still in force across much of the country. The resulting economic turmoil has...

APOLOGETICS
The Bird That Walks and Flies Under Water
The official bird of Norway is Cinclus cinclus, the white-throated dipper, an ordinary-looking bird that behaves in very extraordinary ways.1...

ACTS & FACTS
Does Scripture Say Anything about Climate?
Climate change conversations squeeze their way into so many different topics, yet climate research is rife with confusion. Which scientists are right—those...

ACTS & FACTS
Missing Ice Age Forests Fit Flood/Ice Age Model
Secular scientists say Earth has experienced many Ice Ages. But the evidence for multiple Ice Ages is very weak.1 There is strong geological...

ACTS & FACTS
How Not to Date Hominid Remains
A recent Neanderthal study in the journal Science mixed detailed archaeological finds with stories about human origins. As is typical, the report’s...

ACTS & FACTS
An Ocean of Viruses
A virus is a very tiny structure that, in its simplest definition, is some nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) packed inside a protein coat. Viruses can’t...

ACTS & FACTS
Revisiting the Isochron Age Model, Part 1
Radioactive dating is based on the decay rate of a starting radioactive isotope (the parent) into its stable counterpart (the daughter). An age is assigned...

RESEARCH
Flood Model Solves Antarctica Rainforest Mystery
A recent study published in Nature has evolutionary scientists baffled. The researchers reportedly found an ancient rainforest in Antarctica, of all...