Were there any type of animals that were destroyed completely by the Mabul? (For example - Is there any source that there were dinosaurs or any other type of wildlife and they were destroyed by the Mabul?)

  • 3
    What kind of "source" for dinosaurs or other destroyed wildlife are you looking for? A religious source? A scientific source? Something else?
    – Shmuel
    Oct 23, 2011 at 21:12
  • Sanhedrin 108b discusses the ark taking in only animals that did not copulate outside their species, according to Rashi. This particular explanation is on a verse referring only to the pure animals, so it would seem that they were held to a higher standard than other species, because they were to be brought as Korbanos, however i thought it was worth mentioning. If the Ark was picky like this, it could be that whole species that were delinquent in this waywere not represented?
    – user3114
    Oct 3, 2013 at 19:15

3 Answers 3


To answer the question in the title, according to Bereshit Rabbah 31:13 the Re'em (and some say it's offspring) were not brought into the Ark. R' Nechemia says they were strapped to the side of the ark.

  • I recall reading somewhere that the bit about the Re'em was only a thought experiment and didn't actually happen.
    – A L
    Jul 4, 2013 at 3:27

First and foremost, according to the accepted scientific consensus, dinosaurs died tens of millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth. (Just wanted to get that out of the way before we continue.)

Based on a simple reading of the text (p'shat), two individuals of all land-based and air-based species of animals entered the Teiva\Ark. It follows that there are no species of animals that were completely destroyed by the Mabul\Flood.

(Fish species were not taken into the ark, but they aren't mentioned as being destroyed, either. It is unclear how plants survived, since בראשית Genesis 7:23 mentions that they were destroyed, and Noach did not take any plants other than food into the ark.)

According to the Midrash (מדרש רבה בראשית פרשה ט אות י), God created many worlds, and destroyed them, before our world was created. The dinosaurs may have been part of one the earlier worlds, and were destroyed before ours was created. For more information, please see:

בראשית Genesis (1917 JPS Translation):

Chapter 6: 19 And of every living thing of all flesh (וּמִכָּל-הָחַי מִכָּל-בָּשָׂר), two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the fowl after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground (מִכֹּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה) after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

Chapter 7: 8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the groun(וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר-רֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאֲדָמָה)d, 9 there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noah.

13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; 14 they, and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind, and every fowl after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh wherein is the breath of life. (שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם מִכָּל-הַבָּשָׂר, אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים.)

Chapter 8: 18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him; 19 every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, whatsoever moveth upon the earth, after their families; went forth out of the ark.

  • Please note that it is impossible to read this story in a hyper-literal fashion and still expect it to agree with what we know through science about the world today.
    – Shmuel
    Oct 24, 2011 at 0:42
  • why not? If you take historical, scientific and literary context into account as part of your literal reading, it pretty much mostly fits.
    – AviD
    Oct 24, 2011 at 9:02
  • 1
    "mostly fits" and "Hyper-literal" are mutually exclusive :)
    – avi
    Oct 24, 2011 at 16:47
  • @ShmuelL Can you explain why it must mean every single species was brought on the ark and not just representative animal types? Is it not possible that the Asian Elephant and the African Elephant, for example, diverged after leaving the ark? (I'm throwing out a mass of fossil and comparative DNA evidence here, but when talking about a literal explanation of the Mabul the scientific facts never are considered anyway, in favor of an idea that science is mixed up by the Mabul's effects.) Because I hate to imagine Noah feeding 80,000 spiders and 7,000 mosquitoes among other unpleasant species.
    – A L
    Jul 4, 2013 at 3:32
  • Yap. Is it possible that Asian elephants and African elephant counts as 1 pair and they evolve afterward.
    – user4951
    Jul 14, 2013 at 10:12

Per the Malbim (HaTorah VeHamitzva 7:23) there was some wildlife that was destroyed completely in the Mabul.

והנה שהרבה נשארו עצמותיהם החזקים כמטילי ברזל ולא נמוחו, בכל זאת נמוחו מן הארץ כי ע''י שטף המים הובלו הפגרים לתוך העמקים ורובם נבלעו בעמקי תהום, אשר האדמה פצתה את פיה מעומק תהום רבה וירדו כמה אלפים אמה לעמקי שאול, עד שבצאת נח מן התיבה לא מצא שום רושם מפגרי בעלי חיים ועצמות הענקים ובעלי חיים הגדולים שהיו קודם המבול

  • 1
    The passage you quote isn't clear that he's referring to entire species (or types of animals, as opposed to individual animals). Is that clearer in another part of the Malbim?
    – msh210
    Oct 24, 2011 at 16:19

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