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.


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