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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2009


“Fearfully Great Reptiles”

Perhaps the most famous reptiles are those that no longer live on Earth. We call them dinosaurs. The word dinosaur comes from two Greek words: deinos, meaning “fearfully great,” and saurus, meaning “reptile” or “lizard.” Since 1842, when a scientist named Richard Owen invented the term, man has referred to certain extinct reptiles (known from the fossil record and history) as dinosaurs.

Certain dinosaurs were the longest and largest reptiles ever to roam the Earth. Apatosaurus, more popularly known as Brontosaurus, was taller than a giraffe, longer than four cars, and heavier than five large elephants. In 1986, scientists unearthed the remains of another large dinosaur they named Seismosaurus, meaning “earthquake lizard.” Scientists estimated that when this reptile died, it was 120 feet long from head to tail.

The heaviest dinosaur ever known to have lived was discovered in Argentina in 1991. Scientists named the animal simply Argentinosaurus. Just one of its backbones, called a vertebra, measured five feet, while one of its rib bones was 14 feet long. Scientists estimate that Argentinosaurus reached a weight of over 100 tons (or 200,000 pounds)—as much as 55 average cars weigh!

Scientists are puzzled about how creatures this large could have eaten enough to survive. They are not even sure how such a large animal could pump blood up to its head. Those who believe in evolution wonder what caused dinosaurs to reach such giant sizes. The fact is, these interesting questions point us back to the amazing wisdom and power of God. Evolution didn’t make Seismosaurus, Argentinosaurus, or any other reptiles from the past or present; God did! We can be sure that God neither had a problem feeding Argentinosaurus nor circulating its blood. Nothing is too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:17,27). “The Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is them” (Exodus 20:11), including the dinosaurs and their habitat.



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