There’s a book the First Fossil Hunters by Adrienne Mayor, which looks at the ways ancient people discovered and described fossils.
It’s really turned my thinking around. I mean, you get a person in 1000 B.C. or whatever finding a mastodon skeleton or dinosaur bones, what is he gonna think?
He’s gonna think this thing was a giant animal that was alive once, and he I’m sure he has eaten and picked apart enough of them to tell the difference between a reptile and a bird or mammal, etc
I’m convinced that fossil finds have reinforced and perhaps given rise to legends of mythical beasts. Humanity universally believed that the earth was once full of monsters....and you know what, it sure as heck was! Maybe they didn’t call it a pterodon, but a dragon, but that’s just semantics. The idea’s the same.
I’ll add that the creatures are described in Job as living contemporaniously with his generation.
That being said, as I suggested in a previous post, Job reads like a long parable in a single book. I tend to think he never really existed but, rather, the book is wisdom from God used to instruct mankind as to the nature of the man/God relationship. Frankly, I think the whole history of Israel before Jesus was just such an exercise by God.