The Amazing Hippopotamus

25 Aug

Why do Hippo’s stay submerged in water much of the time?

A mature bull hippopotamus is about 13 feet long, nose to tail, weighs about 1700 pounds and measures five feet high at the shoulder.

  • Hippos have a thin epidermis, and the rate of water loss through the skin in dry air is several times greater than in other mammals. Hence, the hippo stays in the water or mud to prevent dehydration.
  • The pores on their naked skin secrete a thick pink liquid, which covers the body. Sunlight bouncing off the hippo’s dark skin and back through the pinkish ooze makes it appear as if the hippo is covered in glistening blood. It is thought that this “ooze” may serve as a sunscreen, a moisturizer and/or an antiseptic lotion.  But although the liquid isn’t blood, it isn’t sweat, either. Hippos don’t sweat; they ooze.
  • They have a set of massive, razor-sharp tusks found in the corners of the jaw and hidden away inside the folds of their fatty lips. The two tusks of the lower jaw can grow to a foot or more.
  • Sharp incisors also line both jaws.  They open their mouths wide to show aggression—which can sometimes be four feet wide at a 150 degree gape.
  • Although hippos might look docile, they are probably the most dangerous African animal. They are not only aggressive and easily enraged, but they are also very unpredictable.
  • On land, this 1-3 ton animal, over a short haul, can easily outrun a man. Every year many people are killed by getting too close to hippos.
  • Hippos can stay totally submerged for up to six minutes and, having a high specific gravity, they can easily walk or run along the bottom during a dive.
  • When submerged, they close the valves of their nostrils and press their ears flat against the sides of their heads. The heart rate slows down, giving it more time underwater.
  • When it surfaces, it is usually with a loud hiss, a snort, or distinctive grunt that sounds like a blast from a tuba.
  • Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged.  Just another evidence of God’s design.

An adult hippo eats more than 150 pounds of grass a night. These grazers tear up grass not with their teeth but with their lips. They eat the grass so short that if a fire should sweep through the area there isn’t enough grass there to  burn.

Job 34:12,13

The Message

“It’s impossible for God to do anything wicked, for the Mighty One to subvert justice. He’s the one who runs the earth! He cradles the whole world in his hand!”

What about this hippo sunscreen?

(One evolution website gave the following information about the hippo’s sunscreen.)   “Hippos venture out in the scorching sun from time to time, to top off their nightly eating binge.  But a traditional sunscreen – like fur – is not practical if you spend half your time submerged in water.   The answer that evolution came up with was an anti-UV secretion, which is at first colorless, then red, then finally brown as the pigment polymerizes. This natural skin-care product not only protects the hippo from the sun, it also regulates temperature and discourages the growth of bacteria. Scientists collected samples of the hippo’s sweat to see what makes it so special.  They found it is made up of two pigments . The scientists believe these two substances are produced from a metabolite of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).  Both pigments act as sun blocks and the red one, they discovered, is a particularly good antibiotic.  At concentrations lower than that found on the hippo’s skin, it can inhibit the growth of two types of pathogenic bacteria. This is useful for hippos, because they are always fighting.  Perhaps it is no wonder, then, that evolution endowed them with a handy antiseptic”

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It takes far more “faith” to believe this amazing critter just happened to “evolve” than it takes to believe there was a designer, whose name is God.  Don’t you suppose that God gets tired of “evolution” taking credit for all His amazing creations.

 

 

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What’s so amazing about the Mallee Fowl?

5 Aug

Mallee Fowl live in the Mallee forests of Australia.  While most birds settle for sitting on their eggs to incubate them—the Mallee has a very complicated incubation method.

What do they do?  Each fall they dig a 3 foot deep hole, heap it full of vegetation, let it get rained on, then cover it over with sand and wait for it to decay—up to four months of waiting.

Why wait? 

As it decays it heats up—to just the right temperature to incubate their eggs.  This is no small mound but may end up to be about 6 feet from top to bottom and perhaps 40 feet across. The Mallee may move three tons of materials while tending the mound. That is a lot of scraping of vegetation and sand for those two little feet.

Oh, did I mention this bird is called a Megapod—which means big feet.

How can the Mallee tell the temperature? 

God gave him that amazing ability.  As a matter of fact, he not only can take the temperature, he can do whatever it takes to keep the temperature right at 91 to 92 degrees.  As soon as the temperature is stable, the females starts laying the eggs.

How many eggs are laid? 

If the conditions are right in the mound she will lay up to 30 eggs—each up to a week apart.  If conditions aren’t so good she may only lay about 6 eggs.  And if it is a year without rain, they take a vacation from mound building and egg laying that year.  Amazing how smart these fowl are!

What size are the eggs?

The eggs are nearly as big as an ostrich egg—weighing a half pound each.  The egg is 1/10th of the weight of the female.  That is like a woman having a 15 pound baby.

What about hatching? 

It takes about 9 weeks for each egg to hatch so if they are laid over a period of several weeks, Mr. Mallee is tending that mound for a good long time.  Then, once hatched, the chicks must DIG themselves out of the mound—taking 3-15 hours.

Once out, they are completely on their own.  The parents pay absolutely no attention to them.  At two years old they build their own nest, never having been taught how to build a mound or take the temperature.

Explain the process of evolution in relation to this fowl?  Unless the temperature is just right the hen won’t lay and the eggs won’t incubate.  Too marvelous for explanation!

 Psalm 145:10,11

“Creation and creatures applaud you, God; your holy people bless you.  They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendor. . . . .”

HOW CAN THIS BE?

Baby chicks of the Australian Mallee Fowl hatch only because their parents know how to take the temperature.  If the chick’s parents couldn’t tell when the temperature in their egg chamber was exactly 91-92 degrees, they would never hatch out of the eggs.  This would mean no more Mallee Fowl.  In fact, if the parents were wrong more than one degree either way, it’s bye-bye birdie. 

To take the temperature the male probes the mound with his bill, and when both parents are satisfied the temperature in the mound is “hatching heat” the hen lays a single egg.  The male carefully moves the egg into the right position, then prepares the mound for the next egg.

In a dazzling display of temperature sensing, the Mallee constantly alters the structure of the mound to maintain the exact temperature.  If the heat in the mound increases because of rapidly decaying plant material, he uncovers the eggs to let air circulate around them.  When the hot summer sun beats down, he adds sand or soil to the mound.  This acts as a shield to protect the eggs.

The more we know about the Mallee the more unanswered questions we have.

How do the male and female know what duties are theirs?

How do the chicks know they must tunnel out of the mound in order to survive?

How do the Mallee know what temperature the mound must maintain to sustain the eggs?

No way could this intricate design evolve.  Such marvelous design demands a designer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Manatee

22 Jun

The manatee is a mammal that spends its life in the shallow rivers and seas, in both fresh and salt water.  They live in shallow waters because as herbivores, they eat water grasses, normally found no more than 15 feet deep.  As mammals, they have to stick their nose out of the water every 10 to 15 minutes to breathe.  They are gentle creatures that are often called “Sea Cows,” since they graze on water grasses.  They have no natural enemies except for mankind that pollutes the water and runs into the manatees with their boat propellers.

Their natural habitat includes fresh water and saltwater environments in the southeastern US, Mexico and South America.  They also live in the Caribbean Sea.  They are one of the few aquatic animals that move freely between salt and fresh water.

The manatee is really an amazing creature!

  • The manatee gets severely cut by the boat propellers.  But, amazingly, many survive.  How?  They were designed with 90% white blood cells—the ones that fight infection, disease, and help in the healing process.  See the scars on the manatee to the right!  In comparison, we humans only have 1% of our blood cells that are white.  Do you think the manatee evolved that large % of white blood cells after the invention of motor boats?  Or, did their Designer look far into the future and know they would need that healing ability in order to survive.
  • A manatee cannot turn its head because the six bones in its spine—the vertebrae—are so close together.  That’s why it isn’t able to get out of the way of boats—it can’t see what is coming behind it without turning around.
  • Manatees have a sixth sense called “taste-smell” on the tip of each whisker that is placed throughout its body about 1” apart.  Since it can’t use its nose to smell underwater, God provided this special sixth sense.  These whiskers are very sensitive with four nerves attached to each one that helps them both taste and smell things around them.
  • The manatee has all molar teeth.  They are called “marching molars” because they come in at the back of the mouth and move slowly forward and finally fall out.  When they chew water grasses there are bits of sand in them that works like sandpaper in wearing their teeth down.  But no problem, God has provided them with a means to continuously replace the worn out teeth.
  • God gave the manatee two ways to protect their eyes from the salt and dirt in the water.  They have a nictitating membrane, like the eagle.  It is a transparent eyelid that they can see through even when closed.  They also have a gland close to each eye that produces an oil that protects their eyes from the salt water.  Like I said, God thought of everything.
  • As an air-breathing mammal, the manatee sleeps on the bottom of the water.  The whole system slows down when sleeping.  Its heart only beats once in 15 minutes.
  • The bones in a manatee’s flipper are similar to a human hand. The jointed “finger bones” of the flipper help the manatee move through the water, bring food to its mouth, and hold objects. Three or four nails are found at the end of each flipper.
  • The adult manatee averages about 10 feet long and weighs about 1000 pounds.

How Can This Be?

As we said, the manatee gets severely cut by the propellers of boats.  Is it not amazing that they have 90% of white blood cells—just exactly what is needed to fight infection and disease they get from those deep cuts.  Humans have only 1% of white blood cells to fight infections, disease and help in the healing process.  Now that is a huge difference!

Since the manatee has no natural enemies and is a herbivore, it seems unusual that they would need this high percentage of white blood cells for healing.  As far as we know, they are only needed when they collide with boats and are severely cut from the propellers.

Since evolution teaches that creatures do not “evolve” an ability until it is needed, are we to believe that they did not multiply their white blood cells until motor boats were invented in 1907.  If evolution takes millions of years, how did the manatees make such a swift change in just the last 100 years.  It’s obvious they didn’t!  God designed them that way because he cares for all of his creation—including you!

 

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Cuttle

30 Mar

Job 12:7b

Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand.

Seven amazing things about the  cuttlefish:

  1. It is a cephalopod, like an octopus and Squid.  That word means “head-foot.”  The feet of these creatures are connected to the head.
  2. The cuttle has eight “arms” and two “tentacles,” with suckers for grabbing prey.
  3. Females retreat into a den and may lay 500 eggs, the size of a grain of rice.  She coats each egg with a protective sheath and “cements” it to the roof of the den, then leaves them entirely on their own to hatch and live—after one month.
  4. Newborns are 1/2” long and fully functional, knowing instinctively everything they need to know to survive—can even squirt “ink.”
  5. A delicate fin surrounding the body of the cuttle, is used to maintain balance in the water.
  6. Cuttles live in salty ocean bottoms where, as carnivores they hunt at night for prawns, shrimp, small fish, crabs, snails & clams.
  7. Their skin is designed with special Chromatophore organs that can mimic their surroundings, colors, textures, whatever—INSTANTLY!
  8. They can change to at least 50 different colors, plus create eye spots, shapes, zebra stripes, and dice patterns. Whatever design that is put next to a cuttle it mimics.
  9. Not only can they change colors they can strobe those colors which has a dizzying and confusing effect on both their prey and predators.
  10. They are better than the Chameleon at changing colors.  They come in more color combinations than any other critter on earth.
  11. If that doesn’t work in stopping their predators they are equipped with an ink sac that muddies the water, tastes nasty and coats the nostrils of the predator.
  12. Cuttles move by jet propulsion by taking in water and shooting it out in whatever direction they want to move.  And they move at lighting fast speeds.
  13. They only live about 18 months and their “cuttle-bones,” which float, wash up on ocean shores.
  14. These cuttlebones are picked up on the beaches and recycled as a source of calcium in bird cages.
  15. Cuttles may grow to be three feet long.
  16. They have three small hearts, each with a different job to do.
  17. Their blood is a greenish-blue, made up of a copper containing protein instead of the iron containing protein of humans.

How could this be?

One scientific website that had lots of information about the cuttlefish, ended by stating— “The fine details of this phenomenon have not been elucidated.”  That was a fancy way of saying “We have no idea how this amazing creature can do what it does.”  Science does a fantastic job of discovering what a creature can do but they can’t, for the life of them, figure out “how” they can possibly do it.  It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in the all-powerful God that designed all of the world to fit together like a wonderful puzzle of beauty.

The cuttle is equipped with two tentacles that reaches out with lightning fast speed and grabs prey.  Those tentacles are covered with suction cups to help them hold on.  The circular mouth is well hidden under its arms and tentacles.

The cuttlefish is an amazing creature, designed by God to be very intelligent and well equipped to survive in its watery world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Dragonflies

28 Mar

Psalm 104:24-26  (The Message)

“What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations. . . . . . . . . .  All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time.”

 

Amazing things about the Dragonfly’s Eggs and Nymphs:

  • Dragonflies lay their eggs either in the water or as long strings of eggs attached to water plants.
  • These strings might contain 100,000 eggs.
  • Nymphs hatch out of the eggs in one to four weeks.  They are a half to nearly 2 inches long.
  • As they grow they shed their skin ten to 15 times.  This takes 1-4 years.
  • Nymphs hide under rocks and in the mud to pounce on an unsuspecting victim.  They especially enjoy eating mosquito larva.  (Thank you dragonfly nymphs!)
  • They have an amazing way of catching their prey.  They have an underlip with joints.  It is very long, with a pair of hooks at the tip.
  • They shoot this lip forward and catch the insect on the hooks in less than half a second.
  • When they are not using the underlip they fold it over the face like a mask.
  • The nymph breathes by drawing water into the back part of its intestine.  Tiny air tubes take out the oxygen.
  • The nymph then pushes out the water in quick spurts.  In this way it drives itself forward, like a jet-propelled airplane.

Amazing things about the adult Dragonfly:

  • 450 of the worlds 5000 species are in North America.
  • During the final molt of the nymph a dragonfly emerges to live only 4-6 weeks.
  • It spends its time eating insects, mating and laying eggs.
  • The dragonfly can fly up to 60 MPH.
  • The two rear wings are larger than the front pair.  They are held outspread when the insects lands.
  • Their eyes are huge, compared to their heads. While we have one lens in each eye, that lets in the light, their eyes might have 30,000 lens each.
  • They can see forward, backward, sideways and up and down—and up to 40 feet away, all at once.
  • They put their six feet together and form a tiny basket in which they catch their prey.  Aren’t we glad they like eating mosquitoes?  Thank you God!

How amazing it is that all living things work together for the good of other living things.  If it were not for mosquito eating critters, humanity would be big trouble, overrun with mosquitoes.   God directs the dragonfly to lay eggs in ponds infested with mosquito larva—the emerging nymph’s favorite food.  Is that a coincidence or God’s design?

It is apparent to the discerning mind that this great and amazing world didn’t just happen but had a very wise designer that created it all with humanities best interest in mind.

 

 

The Chuckwalla Lizard Sneezes Salt!

23 Mar

Amazing skin:

Chuckwalla lizards are large, pot-bellied lizards which wear a loose, baggy skin. Though the skin appears to be much too large, it is just exactly what this lizard needs when an enemy approaches. 

When an enemy approaches the chuckwalla, the lizard runs very quickly to a rock crevice and hides in it. In the crack of the rock, the chuckwalla swallows air and blows up like a balloon. When the enemy arrives the chuckwalla is safely wedged in the crack. Though within easy reach, it is safe.

Amazing salt glands:

The chuckwalla lives in the southwestern deserts of the US. It grows to twenty inches long, weighs three pounds. Being a vegetarian the chuckwalla eats flowers and fruits especially in the early morning and evening.  The only water it gets is that stored in the flowers and fruits it eats.

Many desert plants absorb much salt from the soil in which they grow. The chuckwalla receives enough salt from its food to kill an ordinary animal. The salt would kill the chuckwalla, too, were it not for its special salt-removing glands. These glands are located in the nostrils of the chuckwalla, and, as the salt builds up on the glands, the lizard occasionally sneezes. The sneeze expels the crystallized salt which the glands have filtered out of the lizard’s bloodstream.

Amazing color changes:

The cold-blooded chuckwalla sleeps late. But when it arises, it must warm up in a hurry. Desert nights and early mornings are often very cold. Cold-blooded creatures are slow and sluggish when they are cold, and cold lizards are easy to catch. For this reason, the chuckwalla wears a dark-colored, heat-absorbing skin. The sun warms the lizard before the air warms up. Later in the day, the lizard’s skin changes to a heat-reflecting light color because the chuckwalla must not get too hot either.

Amazing digestion:

These big, dark-bodied lizards some time bask during the hottest part of the day. This behavior helps them digest the flowers, fruits, and leaves in their stomachs by literally cooking them. Chuckwallas perch on rocks so hot as to be unbearable to the hand—but they love it.

Amazing estivating:

While the chuckwalla doesn’t hibernate, it does estivate.  That means it just lays around for about seven months of the year.  It just so happens to be those months when the yellow flowers aren’t blooming, so there’s nothing to eat.

“As we examine the chuckwalla’s amazing abilities we’re compelled to recognize its Designer.  Only God, Who is an intelligent, rational Being, can account for the order and design evident in the chuckwalla lizard and all of nature.”  (Dr. Jobe Martin—biology major from Bucknell University)

Romans 1:20   For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

How could this be?

Evolutionist DMS Watson said: “Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or is supported by logical coherent arguments, but because. . .no alternative explanation is credible.

While the fact of evolution is accepted by every biologist, the mode in which it has occurred and the mechanism by which it has been brought about are still disputable.

The theory of evolution itself is a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logical coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative is special creation, which is clearly incredible.”

The chuckwalla is another of those incredible creatures that defy evolution.  Skin he can puff up—living without water—sneezing pure salt—changing colors to absorb or deflect light—estivating those months of the year when there is no food to eat—all these amazing features point to one amazing fact—the chuckwalla is designed by a very intelligent being—God! 

 

What’s so Amazing about the Woodpecker?

22 Mar

Genesis 1:20 & 22

Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

A scientist, while examining the woodpecker’s tongue under a microscope commented, “It is very easy to tell the difference between man–made and God–made objects. The more you magnify man–made objects, the cruder they look, but the more you magnify God–made objects, the more precise and intricate they appear.”

  • The woodpecker’s beak works like a chisel, capable of boring right into a tree to do its job in nature—protecting trees from insect infestation.
  • Some woodpeckers can hammer at a force of up to 15 hundred G’s with each blow.  The human brain would sustain injury at about 100 G’s.
  • Woodpeckers bore into a tree at an amazing rate–up to 20 times per second —faster than our eye can see–and they do this up to 12,000 times per day.
  • The chisels we use to bore into trees lose their sharpness, yet the woodpecker’s bill never needs sharpening.
  • Special cells on the end of the bill are constantly replacing lost material. This keeps the chisel-pointed bill strong and resilient, while actually allowing it to be sharpened with every blow.

The woodpecker has an amazing tongue.

  • The tongue can be three times as long as its beak!
  • Normally, a bird’s tongue is about the length of its bill, and only the woodpecker and hummingbird have tongues longer than their bills.
  • Where does it have the room to store such a long tongue? Look at the skull picture to the right.
  • Not only is the length of the tongue a marvel, but also its texture. In young woodpeckers, the tongue is smooth and secretes a glue-like saliva to help them catch insects.
  • As they grow into adulthood they develop barbs on the end of the tongue.
  • When the adult woodpecker’s bill drills into an insect gallery, it extends its tongue and probes around. If it locates grubs, the woodpecker skewers the prey with its tongue, the tip of which is hard and sharply pointed.
  • After the tip penetrates the soft body of an insect, tiny rear-facing barbs grab hold as the woodpecker withdraws its tongue with the succulent food item impaled thereon.
  • Most animals have tongues that attach in their throat, but a woodpecker’s tongue wraps around the back of his skull and attaches in the front, between his eyes. This isn’t a bad idea if you’re an animal who spends all day banging your head on a tree– it provides a little cushioning for the brain.  Even more advantageous is the extra length of tongue which makes a great device for sticking into woody crevices to extract tasty insects.

Even evolutionists admit that it’s silly to suggest that gradually over thousands of years the woodpecker’s tongue got longer and began to grow under his skin. As one evolutionary scientist said about the woodpecker’s tongue, “There are certain anatomical features which just cannot be explained by gradual mutations over millions of years. Just between you and me, I have to get God into the act too sometimes.”

Could the woodpeckers amazing shock-absorbing head have evolved by chance?

If an ordinary bird tried to bore a hole in a tree trunk, the impact would kill it.  The woodpecker, however, is equipped with four shock-absorbing features that protect its brain from damage.

1—It has a thick skull with a spongy bone to cushion the brain;

2—The skull encloses the brain so tightly that it cannot move, avoiding concussions.

3—The bird contracts their mandible muscles just before impact, thus transmitting the impact past the brain and allowing its whole body to help absorb the shock.

4—Woodpeckers have a second eyelid called a nictitating membrane that they close a millisecond prior to their beak impacting the trunk of a tree (or perhaps a telephone pole) in order to prevent their eyes from leaving their sockets.

And all that boring into trees serves a very good purpose to help mankind—the woodpecker helps our forests by getting rid of the harmful insects that eat under the bark and eventually destroy the tree

As we look around our amazing world we see how all living things have a job to do that helps other living creatures.  The closer we look at each creature the more evidence we see for “design.”  Our world is too amazing to have just happened by accident but shows countless evidences of design.