Ark Encounter holds that primarily aquatic species are not on the Ark. The sign listing the species even lists examples of kinds not required on the Ark in the bottom right, and Chelonioidea is on there, with examples “Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Leatherback Sea Turtle”.

So I was rather surprised to find Protostegidae – a family of ginormous sea turtles with giant heads – on the Ark Encounter poster of Ark Kinds. This family includes Archelon ischyros, the largest sea turtle ever documented at 4.6m from head to tail (1m of which was just the head) and a 4m flipper span!Preserved stomach contents tend to be primarily shellfish, and they are found in marine deposits. I cannot find any suggestion anywhere that this creature lived on the land. Thus, by Answers in Genesis’s stated criteria, it should not be on the list of Ark passengers.

There were also other extinct sea turtle families on the list. Both Eurysternidae and Thalassemydidae were fully aquatic from everything I can find, and yet they somehow made it on the Ark list.

Furthermore, extant marine snakes were not excluded from the relevant Ark Kinds paper. However these extinct marine snake families are also listed on the Ark Encounter poster:

  • Simoliophiidae/Pachyophiidae (which are listed separately but generally don’t seem to be considered separate families in the papers I found)
  • Palaeophiidae
  • Nigerophiidae, which has mostly aquatic species but has one terrestrial genus. The Extant Ark Kinds paper does have an example of a mixed aquatic/terrestrial family, the Elapidae. The paper split the family up into subgroups that were either aquatic or not, and declared those subgroups to be separate kinds. If we do the same here this would still be a kind, but it should be listed as Kelyophis.

So why are these marine species on the list? My guess is that their “researchers” were lazy and just copied lists of family names without bothering to check what the animals actually are. This is my guess because these species were on my initial list too. However, I figured it out and deleted them. Which would imply that an engineer creating a list as a hobby did a better job than their team of highly paid “scientists” completing a “monumental study”. Which says something about the level of scholarship and peer review that went into this “study”.