What led to the great dinosaur extinction? Is Mokele-mbembe a living dinosaur?

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How did all the dinosaurs die out?

Stegosaurus_fossil

There are more than 30 evolutionary theories of why dinosaurs died out. They include everything from sunburn to constipation … from an asteroid hitting the earth to dinosaurs' being bitten by tsetse flies.

Every one of these evolutionary theories has problems. Yet we believe that the most logical explanation for why most dinosaurs died out is one that fits with what the Bible says.

Most creationists believe that when Noah and all the animals came off the Ark after the worldwide flood (Genesis 6-9), the world had changed greatly. The climate had altered drastically, and the whole earth had been under water for a year.

Vegetation scarce

The lush vegetation that had supported the animals before the Flood had now largely been buried and broken up, and it would take time for the plants to regrow. Some of the larger animals would have needed huge amounts of food as they grew, and animals that preferred certain types of food would now be competing for smaller amounts of it, or for other types of food.

The dinosaurs that had been on the Ark with Noah may have survived for a while and bred. But they were no longer in large numbers, and humans and other predators searching for food probably hunted dinosaurs and many other animals into extinction.

So what happened to the dinosaurs? Most died during the worldwide Flood. Those that survived would have been victims of major climate change, disease, reduced food levels, and hunters.

Many animals today are threatened with extinction. There are some wonderful conservation programs in place to try to preserve these animals. Unfortunately for the dinosaurs, no conservation program was in place to save them. The causes of animal extinction today are probably largely the same as in the past.

What about reports of living dinosaurs?

There have been reports in recent years of creatures resembling dinosaurs in remote African jungles. Expeditions to almost inaccessible parts of the Congo and Cameroon have reported previously unidentified animals, at least one of which fits the description of a plant-eating dinosaur. The local natives call this creature Mokele-mbembe, and it has allegedly been seen living in jungle swamps. Mokele-mbembe is described as about the size of a large hippopotamus or smallish elephant, reddish-brown to gray, with a long, snake-like neck.

We are not saying that dinosaurs are alive, or even that Mokele-mbembe is a dinosaur. We don't know. But it is advisable to keep an open mind, because every now and then some supposedly extinct animals and plants are found to be living. Examples are the coelacanth fish, elephants in Nepal that had features of mammoths, and a tree in Australia — the Wollemi pine — that one scientist described as “like finding a live dinosaur.”

If the existence of living dinosaurs is ever confirmed, it would probably throw evolutionary dating methods into chaos. Any rock found these days with dinosaur bones in it is assumed to be at least 65 million years old.

But if dinosaurs are still living, it means the rock could be any age, even only a few centuries or decades old. Fresh-looking unfossilized dinosaur bones have been found in Alaska and Canada, showing that dinosaurs might have been around not long ago.


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