Selections from Did Animals Eat Meat Before the Flood? by Andrew V. Ste. Marie
(These selections by Marko Malyj are of the article published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 16, Number 1, January/February 2011, to appear at http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2011/CM16%2001%20low%20res.pdf.)
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The Bible describes the perfect world God created in Genesis 1 and 2. One of the most notable attributes of the pre-Fall world was the absence of carnivorous (meat-eating) behavior.
Of course, Adam and Eve sinned and everything changed, including diets. Carnivorous activity is a prominent aspect of our world today, but when did it begin? It is not specifically mentioned in the Curse (Genesis 3:14–19). People were not given meat to eat until after the Flood (Genesis 9:2–4). But what about the animals? Did they begin to eat meat before the worldwide Flood? Scripturally and scientifically, the answer appears to be yes.
The Bible describes the world before the Flood in Genesis 6:11–12: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." The Hebrew word basar (flesh) seems to refer mainly to people, but also to animals (see Genesis 6:19, 7:15–16, 21).
People had corrupted their way and “cast[ed] off” God’s laws. The animals had apparently done the same. This is not meant to imply that animals were willfully sinning. point is that animals, as well as people, were engaging in corrupt activities which God had not originally built into His perfect creation.
The Bible clearly implies that there was violent animal life prior to the Flood. Paleontology tells the same story.
Pre-Flood violence and carnivorous activity revealed in the fossil record
Much of the fossil record was certainly formed during the Genesis Flood. There is general agreement among many young-earth creationists that at least the so-called Cambrian through Cretaceous rock layers were laid down in the Flood. Therefore, in this paper only evidence of carnivorous activity in these layers will be presented.
Ichthyosaurs. Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles which resembled dolphins. Many well-preserved skeletons have been found in various places around the world. Gut contents have also been found; fish and fish scales, cephalopod (squids and octopi are cephalopods) hooklets, smaller ichthyosaurs, small turtle bones, and even a bird bone and pterosaur (flying reptile) remains have been found in the stomach areas of
Sharks. Sharks were also predators before the Flood. The (now presumed extinct) “Ginsu Shark” Cretoxyrhina seems to have been a vicious mosasaur killer. Partly digested mosasaur pieces have been found inside fossil specimens of Cretoxyrhina.3
Crocodile-like reptiles. Phytosaurs were reptiles similar to crocodiles with nostrils near their eyes. An animal vertebra has been found with tooth marks perfectly matching phytosaur teeth. One metoposaur (giant amphibian) skull has a row of phytosaur tooth marks from the back of the skull into the brain case.4 Stomach contents found in Belodon, a type of phytosaur, indicate it fed on a variety of reptiles.5
Theropod dinosaurs. Theropods were the two-footed, meat-eating dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor. There is a large amount of evidence showing many of these animals to have been carnivorous.
|The "Fighting Dinosuaurs" fossil.|
bones.6,7 The famous “fighting dinosaurs” fossil preserves a Velociraptor locked in combat with a Protoceratops (similar to a small Triceratops).9 Other Protoceratops bones bear Velociraptor tooth marks.10
Cannibalism. Even with all this evidence of violence and carnivorous activity in the fossil record, the fossils tell of yet more pre-Flood corruption of God’s perfect creation — cannibalism. Some fossils of the theropod Majungatholus from Madagascar have teeth marks exactly matching Majungatholus teeth. Whether Majungatholus hunted or scavenged its own kind, it was a cannibal.11
God created a world which was perfect and free of death, violence, and carnivorous behavior. After the Fall and the Curse, some animals became violent carnivores and even cannibals. The fossil record bears abundant testimony to this fact. Man, however, was not given meat to eat until after the Flood. The Bible also tells of the new heavens and new earth, where once again meat-eating and violence will be unknown.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6–10)
1. Kear, B. P., W. E. Boles, and E. T. Smith. 2003. Unusual gut contents in a Cretaceous ichthyosaur. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 270:S206–S208.
2. Norman, D. 1985. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Crescent Books, New York, NY.
3. Wieland, C. 2005. Dragons of the Deep. Master Books, Green Forest, AR.
4. Taylor, J. 1999. Fossil Facts and Fantasies. Mt. Blanco Publishing Co., Crosbyton, TX.
5 Walker, C., and D. Ward. 1992. Fossils. DK Publishing, Inc., New York, NY.
6. Longrich, N. R., J. R. Horner, G. M. Erickson, and P. J. Currie. 2010. Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex. PLoS One 5(10):e13419.
7. Longrich et al. (ref. 22) list 17 such specimens. Their list does not include the Edmontosaurus skull with T. rex bite marks (ref. 8).
8. Taylor, J., and A. V. Ste. Marie. 2010. Creationists can be paleontologists! The Witness 8(7):3–12.
9. Hodge, B., and B. Davis. Two Fighting Dinosaurs? Retrieved July 18, 2008 from www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n1/two-fighting-dinosaurs.
10. Hone, D., J. Choiniere, C. Sullivan, X. Xu, M. Pittman and Q. Tan. 2010. New evidence for a trophic relationship between the dinosaurs Velociraptor and Protoceratops. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 291:488–492.
11. Rogers, R. R., D. W. Krause, and K. C. Rogers. 2003. Cannibalism in the Madagascan dinosaur Majungatholus atopus. Nature 422:515–518.