I read a recent National Geographic article about a really cool dinosaur find made back in 2011. The fossil is completely petrified and almost totally preserved in stone. This Nodosaur fossil was discovered in an energy mine in Alberta Canada during normal mining operations. This is by no means a critique of the National Geographic article, though I certainly could find plenty to critique. Instead, we are going to discuss the Nodosaurs in general and how they fit into God’s creation.
First a general background on Nodosaurs. The image at the top of the article is a representative of a Nodosaur. They are relatives of the more well known ankylosaurs and, according to evolutionists, lived in the early Cretaceous period. The fossil found in Canada would have weighed over three thousand pounds and from nose to tail was eighteen feet long. These lumbering plant eaters would have grazed on grass, flowers, and low growing shrubs.
Lacking the massive tail clubs of the the more popular ankylosaurs, nodosaurs relied for protection on their spiny, scaly skin and a pair of large horns situated on the sides of their necks. The National Geographic article compares them to rhinoceroses and it’s an apt comparison. One note I will make about the article is the author inadvertently makes a case for a global flood. Check out this quote “For paleontologists the dinosaur’s amazing level of fossilization—caused by its rapid undersea burial—is as rare as winning the lottery. ” Rapid undersea burial you say? Could that have been caused by a massive global flood perhaps?
While purely speculative, there are some reasonable assumptions we can make about Nodosaurs. Before the fall they would have been amicable companions for man. Even after the fall, these herbivores would have been very useful to man. It is likely early man used them to work the fields and bear heavy loads. Before the fall, the horns certainly were not meant for defense, though they certainly were useful for that after the fall. Pre-all, the horns were likely used to compete for a mate, or perhaps attract one.
How did the Nodosaur fit in God’s creation? It could fit in a number of ways. Perhaps the most obvious would have been as a grazer to keep back plant growth. Also, by eating and passing seeds through their digestive tract, Nodosaurs would have aided various plants spread throughout the area they walked, much as numerous other herbivores do today. Post-fall, they would have likely been preyed on by ambitious packs of Velociraptors, perhaps the occasional Spinosaurus or Allosaurus, and certainly the similar sized Dilophosaurus. At least two Nodosaurs would have found a place on the Ark.
Obviously Nodosaurs are no longer a common sight in the world. However, they were in the years after the flood. Sioux Indian cave drawings depict something that strongly resembles a Nodosaur. The Sioux called them “Unktehi”. The Objibwa Indians of the Lake Superior area likewise drew images of something very similar to a Nodosaur. Based on the stories the Indians tell, the Nodosaur was fond of water, and spent a lot of time either in shallow water, or on the shoreline. Ironically, evolutionists seem to agree with this analysis. In a quote attributed to evolutionist Dale Russell, the Dinosaur Home website mentions that Nodosaurs preferred marine habitats. Based on the Indian stories, both of which mention Lake Superior, this seems fairly plausible, though perhaps aqueous would be a better term than marine.
Nodosaur would have been one of the more interesting creatures walking the Garden of Eden. They most certainly endured long after the Flood, perhaps even as late as 1600s-1700s, based on the timing of the Indian legends. They would have been workhorses for man on early farms, with the bulk to pull heavy loads and the armored skin to withstand the friction. While the likelihood of them living today is low, they would have been one of the most popular animals with Bible era man due to their ability to work and certainly would have been one of the hardier of domesticated animals.