Well hello all you fine people out there! This time of year we
are just about smack in the middle of the hot season or the cold one. I hope wherever you’re at the weather isn’t too extreme. But then if it is we have warm clothes and heat of some sort and hats, or cool clothes, shade and if we are fortunate, some sort of cooling system. And of course God gave us the brains to do something about our circumstances if the extremes are getting the better of us.
But what about all the critters out there, in the great outdoors? Well, the Lord has provided for them too during creation week. He installed information on their DNA strands that has been passed down generation after generation all the way to today’s creatures. Thus their bodies have been enable to adapt to allow them to live in extreme climates. Let’s look at some amazing examples…
There is a little beetle named the Siberian timberman beetle (Acanthocinus aedilis). This little insect is able to live in one of the coldest places on our planet. How? “Hibernating timberman adult beetles and their larvae have a high capacity for super-cooling, tolerate freezing well, and are able to tolerate temperatures that would kill other insects. During the winter months, these insects accumulate high concentrations of polyol, approximately 1,500 mmolal. Polyols depress the supercooling point of these insects (like antifreeze in your car’s coolant system).”1 In addition the more delicate larvae have greater glycerol concentrations which again act like antifreeze giving them greater protection. And these larvae’s cutical have low water permeability which helps them from becoming dehydrated. The timber beetles can tolerate cooling as low as -34.6F (-37C) degrees. Amazing stuff!
Another example is found in warmer climates. “The tiny bombardier beetle (Brachinini) could not possibly have evolved. His defense mechanism is amazingly complicated, and could only have been created with all the parts working together perfectly. From twin ‘exhaust tubes’ at his tail, this beetle fires into the face of his enemies boiling-hot noxious gases with a loud pop. How can this be? German chemist Dr Schildknecht discovered that the beetle mixes two chemicals (hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone) which would usually form a dirty ugly mixture. The well-designed beetle uses a special ‘inhibitor’ chemical to keep the mixture fromreacting. How then can the explosion instantaneously occur when needed?Dr Schildknecht discovered that in the beetle’s specially designed combustion tubes are two enzymes called catalase and peroxidase which make chemical reactions go millions of times faster. These chemicals catalyze the extremely rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen and the oxidation of hydroquinone into quinone, causing them to violently react and explode—but not so soon as to blow up the beetle, of course! Common sense tells us that this amazing little insect cannon which can fire four or five ‘bombs’ in succession could not have evolved piece by piece. Explosive chemicals, inhibitor, enzymes, glands, combustion tubes, sensory communication, muscles to direct the combustion tubes and reflex nervous systems—all had to work perfectly the very first time—or all hopes for ‘Bomby’ and his children would have exploded!”2
Back to the cold country, high in the mountain steppes and semi-desert areas of the Tibetan plateau (Himalayan mountains), the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) carves out its living. Through the comparison between Tibetan antelope who’s habitat is over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) high and other plain-dwelling mammals, scientists could identify adaptive traits in the Tibetan antelope in genes associated with energy metabolism and oxygen transmission. This identifies that genes involved in energy metabolism efficiently provide energy in conditions of low partial pressure of oxygen (PO2). Which of course is the case in the high altitudes of the himalayan mountains. In addition, research revealed that the Tibetan antelope have signals of positive selection for genes involved in DNA repair and the production of ATPase (used in cell repare construction). Considering the exposure to high levels of ultraviolet radiation, positive selective genes related to DNA repair may be vital in protection of the Tibetan antelope. I live at almost 5,000 feet altitude, but if I go higher in the mountains and start hiking with vigorous steps, I don’t get very far before I am light headed and gasping for air. These antelopes behave like any other antelope or deer, grazing and running around, chasing each other, playing like as if they were at sea level! Again, amazing!
And last but not least is my favorite. It is an example of not just adaption to environmental conditions, but emotional adaption in the form of altruism. Because evolution underscores the significance of organism’s reproductive self interests, it would be an impossibility --evolutionary speaking--for an animal to have the behavior of selfless devotion to the welfare of other organisms. But that is not what we totally see in nature. Get a load of this! Jonathan C. O’Quin, D.P.M.. M.S., wrote an article for the Creation Research Society’s “Creation Matters” journal (March/April 2013 Vol 18, No. 3) where he relates a personal experience. “While I was in graduate school in Raleigh, NC, a female Greylag goose at a nearby lake died, leaving her mate grief-stricken but not abandoned. Nearly one month later, a female Pekin duck at the same lake, who had just lost her mate, hatched seven ducklings, four of which survived. In what can only be described as a special provision of our loving Creator, the male Greylag goose literally adopted this family of ducks, assuming every responsibility of a biological parent. This unlikely pair successfully cared for and raised the ducklings to maturity. This offers a powerful testimony not only to the Lord God’s boundless and sometimes unexpected love, but to His ability to turn desperate circumstances around for His glory.”A fine example indeed of our Lord’s Divine Provisions! I would love to hear from any of you who know of other examples of altruism in the animal kingdom!
Until next time, take care and God bless!
This week in the night skies--For the northern hemisphere; Tuesday, July 1st-5th “Ceres and Vesta at their closest. The two leading asteroids, currently magnitudes 8.4 and 7.1, are closing right in on each other as seen on the sky. They're not far above Mars and Spica after dark. They are within 1/3° of each other for the next week and will appear closest together, just 1/6° apart, on the evenings of July 4th and 5th. (For everyone), Earth is at aphelion, its farthest from the Sun for 2014. But it's only 3% farther than at perihelion in January; Earth's orbit is nearly round and nearly centered on the Sun.”3
1O’Quinn, Jonathan, D.P.M., M.S., Creation Research Society, Frozen Alive, Creation Matters Journal, 2010 Vol 15, No. 4, pg. 12.