Larger Anciently Than Today

LARGER FOSSILS ANCIENTLY—It is an intriguing fact that, if the fossil evidence supported any species modification, it would be devolution—not evolution! Ancient plants and animals were frequently much larger than any now living. Not only do we find no crossing over the species line among fossils, but we also discover that species are not evolving, but degenerating with the passing of time.

A cardinal principle of evolutionary theory is that creatures must evolve into more complexity as well as bigger size. But the fossil record bears out neither theory. There is clear evidence of the complexity to be found in invertebrates, the supposedly "lowest" form of life. But there is a size differential as well:

"[Edward Drinker] Cope is known to many students only for 'Cope's Law,' which asserts, roughly speaking, that everything goes on getting bigger . . Alas, it is not generally true. The modern tiger is smaller than the sabre-toothed tiger of the last ice age . . The horsetails of our ditches are tiny compared with the sixty-foot [18 m] horsetails of the Carboniferous. And where are the giant snails of the early Cambrian or the giant oysters of the Tertiary?"—*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p 122.

The Bible indicates that in ancient times, people lived longer and were much larger. So it should not be surprising that extinct creatures were frequently larger than those alive today. They probably lived longer too.

Among the fossils we find the following:

Plants: (1) Enormous plants once existed, far exceeding anything alive today. (2) Fifty-foot [152 dm] high ferns with 5-6 foot [15-18 dm] fronds. (3) Scouring rushes grew to a width of 12 inches [30.48 cm] in diameter. (4) One-hundred-foot [30.4 dm] high scale trees, with trunks 4-6 feet [12-18 dm] in diameter are found only in fossil form. None are alive today.

Small sea life: (5) Giant trilobites up to 18 inches [45.72 cm] long, with none alive today, and the creatures now living and most similar to them are quite small. (6) Fifteen-foot [457 cm] long straight-shelled cephalopods (Enckiceras proteiforme) and [9-foot 1274 cm] sea scorpions (Euryprids) once lived. Nothing of such immense sizes is found among them today. Those fossil Euryprids were the largest arthropods that ever lived.

Insects: (7) Some insects were 4 to 8 inches [ 10.16-20.32 cm] in length. Dragonflies had a wingspread of 29 inches [73.66 cm], and some centipedes were 12 inches [30.48 cm] in length.

Amphibians: (8) Today's amphibians are small salamanders or frogs. But in the past, there were the giants of Stegocephalia, of which Onychopusgigas alone weighed 500 pounds [226.8 kg].

Larger marine life: (9) How would you like to meet a shark with jaws 6 feet [183 cm] across? That is what sharks were like in ancient times. (10) Basilosaurus was a marine mammal with a 4-foot [12 dm] head, 10-foot [30 dm] long body, and 40-foot [12.2 m] tail.

Birds: (11) Diatiyma looked somewhat like an ostrich, but was 7 feet [21 dm] tall and had a head as big as a horse. (12) The Phororhacos was nearly 8 feet [24 dm] tall with a skull 23 inches [58.42 cm] across. (13) Dinornis was 10-feet [30.5 dm] tall, and was the largest bird that ever lived.

Larger mammals: (14) The Mongolian Andresarchus had a skull 2% feet [76 dm] long, and was one of the largest carnivores ever to live. (15) Imagine meeting a long-horned rhinoceros 14 feet [4.3 m] tall? Another rhinoceros, Baluchiterium, was 13 feet [40 dm] high and 25 feet [76 dm] long. (16) There were huge woolly mammoths, gigantic hairy mastodons, and 14-foot [43 dm] tall imperial mammoths. (17) Giant armadillos once lived, and ground sloths as big as elephants. (18) Pigs (Entelodonts) were 6 feet [18dm] high. (19) One bison (Bison latifrons) had a 6-foot [18 dm] horn spread.

Reptiles: (20) Crocodile-likephytosaurs were 25 feet [76 dm] long, and dolphin-like ichthyosaurs were 30 feet [91 dm] in length. (21) There were 35-foot [171 dm] long marine reptiles (Mosasaurs)

and 11-foot [34 dm] marine turtles (Archelon). (22) The Pteranodon had a 25-foot [76 dm] wingspread. (23) And then there were gigantic land reptiles, including the 45-foot [137 dm] Tyrannosaurus Rex, the 65-foot [189 dm] long Brontosaurus, the 10-ton [9,072 kg] Stegosaurus, and the 80-foot [244 dm] long Diplodocus. The Brachiosaurus was 50 feet [152 dm] tall, 100 feet [305 dm] in length, and weighed 80 [72.5 mt] tons. That would make it approximately three times as large as the largest dinosaur now known, and place it in the range of size of the blue whale— called the largest creature on earth.

In 1971, three specimens of the largest bird were found in Texas by *Douglas Lawson. The Pterosaur had an estimate wingspan of 51 feet [155 dm], twice as large as any flying reptile previously discovered. By way of contrast, the bird with the largest wingspan, the wandering albatross, measures 11 feet [33.5 dm]; and the McDonnell Douglas F-15A jet fighter has a wingspan of 43 feet [131 dm].

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