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
The Tail of Man’s Supposed Ancestors
Although it has been known for decades and despite insistence to the contrary from the evolutionary community, man—Homo sapiens—has never...

NEWS
When Day Meets Night—A Total Success!
The skies cleared above North Texas on Monday, April 8, for a spectacular view of the 2024 Great American Solar Eclipse. Hundreds of guests joined...

NEWS
The Sun and Moon—Designed for Eclipses
Before discovering thousands of planets in other solar systems, scientists tended to assume that other solar systems would be very similar to our own....

NEWS
Let ICR Help You Prepare for the Great American Solar Eclipse!
On Monday, April 8th, the moon will move directly between the earth and the sun, resulting in a total solar eclipse visible in northern Mexico, much...

NEWS
Total Eclipse on April 8th
“You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that...

CREATION PODCAST
Dismantling Evolution One Gear At A Time! | The Creation Podcast:...
The human body is a marvel of complexity and the more we learn about it, the more miraculous our existence becomes! Can evolution explain the...

NEWS
April 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down." (Psalm 104:19 NKJV) ICR April 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Creation's Easter Message
While many Christians still consider the creation doctrine a fringe issue, a proper understanding of the Christian message finds creation at its core...

NEWS
ICR Veteran Don Barber Retires
Don Barber   After 34 years with the Institute for Creation Research, Director of Enterprise Technology Don Barber will retire...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
The Sanctity of Life | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 23
Abortion is a big issue culturally and in the church. How can believers love our neighbors and act as the hands and feet of Christ when it comes...