Swimming Creatures Lesson 5: Primeval Reptiles

3/08/2009
In this lesson, we discussed 4 kinds of large sea reptiles: nothasaurs, mosasaurs, icthyosaurs, and plesiosaurs. For our notebooking activites, we drew a picture of each and labeled them. On the back, they wrote a few facts about each of the giant marine reptiles. Usually, I read the lesson to the boys, but this time each boy read the lesson independently. Here is Dylan showing me that an ichthyosaur had the biggest eyes in creation - 12 inches across or as big as a dinner plate! Then, he is showing me how many bones he has in his finger, comparing it to a plesiosaur who had up to 24.
We discussed the fossil evidence of primeval reptiles as evidence of a world wide flood. Why else would we find fossils of giant marine reptiles even where there is no water today (such as in the middle of a continent?). Often times they were caught in giant mudslides that quickly encased them. When the waters covered the earth during the flood spoken of in Genesis 6-8, the reptiles could have gone anywhere.
We also discussed that it is rare for an icthyosaur to become fossilized because they have pockets of air in them that make them float and they often get eaten before they can become fossilized. We know that an animal needs to be trapped beneath layers of sediment to become a fossil, so they must have been buried quickly after they died. 37 articulated shonisaurs (a type of icthyosaur) were found in the state of Nevada. Most of them were articulated (a new word we learned meaning the bones were found in their proper place as if they were still attached) - meaning they were not moved around by currents, plus they had to be covered quickly and compeletly, so they would not be eaten by scavengers. "What kind of catastrophe could have moved that much mud quickly?" asks author Jeanie Fulbright. We know!
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