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
ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...

ACTS & FACTS
Science vs. Falsely Called Knowledge
Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing...

ACTS & FACTS
Claims of 100-Million-Year-Old Bacteria Unfounded
Evolutionary scientists recently claimed to have discovered bacteria that are 101.5 million years old. In 2010 researchers collected deep-sea sediment...

ACTS & FACTS
Paleontology Confirms a Late Cenozoic N-Q Flood Boundary
Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. Extensive rock record research performed by ICR geologist Dr. Tim Clarey across four continents...

RESEARCH
Soft Tissue Fossils Reveal Incriminating Trends
In December 2019, the journal Expert Review of Proteomics published a paper I authored with Stephen Taylor titled “Proteomes of the past: the...

ACTS & FACTS
The Power of the Next Idea
“Our task is to fundamentally change the way people understand biology by constructing a completely new theory of biological design that incorporates...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation by Design
Take a quick look at the hummingbird pictured below. This tiny bird’s wings beat from 50 to 80 times per second—a testimony to God’s...