The implication in these verses is clear! When a human being is compared to the animals, his or her image is not just of him or herself, but in the image of God. This is the principle of kind reproducing after its kind.
Though it is not stated directly, the text infers that mankind reproduces after the God-kind! Verses 26-27 provide a contrast between humanity and the other verses that address the beasts of the field, the sea, and the sky. Man is not just different—he is like God! Man is after the God-kind—not animal-kind nor angel-kind!
But how is mankind like God? It is not merely a matter of form and shape, though that is included. It is principally in terms of more important things: intelligence; broad, emotional capacity; self- and other-consciousness; abstract, spatial, and artistic thought; creative powers to bring plans to pass; and most of all, desire for and capability to grasp spiritual content such as living forever. Mankind has the powers of mind! Humans haveminds in which the character of God can be created!
These verses do not say all of that here. We can gather supporting information from other parts of the Bible, but God lays the groundwork for it here at the very beginning, showing that humans, though physical and mortal, are created after the God-kind.
God does not hide vital truths like this by putting them in some "obscure" book like Obadiah, which is one chapter long and unread by most people. Yet, almost everybody reads the first chapter of Genesis! And there it is—right at the very beginning of the Book. The first powerful statement that man is made after the God-kind is in the Book's first chapter! Mankind is exceptional, distinctive from all other created things!
John W. Ritenbaugh