Jambo! Mr. Nature here. Spring has sprung, birds are building nests all over the neighborhood: but our video safari takes us to Australia, and a very different kind of bird’s nest.
The Australian brush turkey belongs to a group of birds called “megapodes,” and their nests are huge piles of heaped-up leaves that can weigh up to four tons. The male constructs this hill and digs a hole in it, the female lays the eggs in the hole, they fill the hole–and then, instead of sitting on the nest, the male guards it from predators and from time to time adds or subtracts from it to regulate the nest’s internal temperature. If you’ve ever had a compost heap, you know that decaying vegetation produces heat. The bird knows that, too.
When the young finally hatch, they dig their way out of the nest and fly away–no further care needed, they’re good to go.
Who else makes nests like that? Alligators, that’s who! Megapodes’ nests are just like gators’ nests and work the same way. Except alligators can’t fly, so when the eggs hatch, the mother gator carries the babies to a nursery pool where both parents can defend them from predators–like, for instance, guys who want to film videos of baby alligators.
When the male brush turkey has to defend the nest from predators, he kicks into their faces a storm of leaf litter. That’s usually enough to send them packing.
Please feel free to ignore the evolutionary spiel provided by the narrator.
This is God’s stuff, and it works.
I don’t know how I got elected “Mr. Nature.” It just happened. Maybe on account of reading Mark Trail throughout my childhood.
I dassn’t tell you how long it took me to realize “Mark Trail” was a pun.
Anyway, I never outgrew my interest in animals of all kinds, from the water bear to the ancient short-faced bear. And if you have no idea what those particular critters are… you need Mr. Nature!
We can celebrate God’s stuff together.
It’s hard to say which was really the biggest dinosaur, but Sauroposeidon, from Oklahoma, is a strong candidate for the tallest.
When it comes to the biggest dinosaurs, mostly what we have are bits and pieces. Sauroposeidon’s remains, for instance, were originally mistaken for fossilized tree trunks. The problem with these gigantic creatures is that when they died, their carcasses were too big to be fossilized easily and they mostly broke apart.
But if that picture up above is accurate–and the scientists have done their best, with what they had to work with–wow! Can you imagine seeing an animal anywhere near that big? Oh, the work of God’s hands! When I interviewed the famous paleontologist, Bob Bakker, some years ago, he said he imagined the Lord took a special pleasure in creating these giants.
Obviously they’re not here anymore. God has removed them–where to, we don’t know.
But I suppose there will be some spectacular surprises waiting for us when we get to Heaven.
Spring is well on its way; and that means these little frogs, spring peepers, will be coming out hibernation and calling for mates. This is Mr. Nature: and for this safari, some of you will only have to walk out to your back yards.
My brother, Mark, and my editor, Susan, are privileged to live in neighborhoods where peepers abound. One or the other will phone me, from time to time, so that I can hear the peepers, too.
The march of the seasons, the calling of the peepers, the tulip bulbs by our door putting out shoots–all part of God’s stuff, and it all works just fine. All the time.
P.S.–For those of you who collect crepuscularities, Chef John (“Food Wishes”) perpetrated one today: “My wanton use of egg glue cause my wontons to fall apart.” You can catch him on Youtube–one of Patty’s favorite cooking channels.
Jambo! Mr. Nature here. And if you want to see a lobster’s teeth, don’t bother looking in its mouth. No, the lobster’s teeth are in its hands. See the picture.
The left claw contains the molars. Take a closer look: they’re not so different from our molars. They are instantly recognizable–but for their weird location–as molars.
The cutting teeth are in the right-hand claw.
God’s stuff can leave us shaking our heads. Try to imagine having your teeth in the palms of your hands. I’ll understand if you cringe.
The lobster has the kind of teeth it needs to process its food. Its teeth are similar to mammals’ teeth. I can easily see God designing them like that on purpose. I can’t see mammals’ teeth “evolving” from lobsters’, or mammals and lobsters inheriting their teeth from some imaginary common ancestor. (But you can’t allow free speech because then some people might say they don’t believe in Evolution and next thing you know we’ll have a theocracy blah-blah-blah…)
God’s stuff is just so cool.
Somebody just told me “Nature” is “Erutan” spelled backwards. Get a life.
It’s hard to believe this little fella will grow up to be a top predator–scourge of the caribou, bane of the bison. Wolves will even eat people, if there’s nothing better going.
But all God’s stuff is created for a reason: and we just can’t help loving baby animals. He did that for a reason, too.
Jambo, everybody, Mr. Nature here–with something that you should absolutely positively never try to do.
The guy in this video got away with it. But if his feet had slipped on the wet grass…
Mother alligators and crocodiles guard their nests, and some continue to guard the babies after they’ve hatched, going so far as to transfer them to a nursery pond where it’s easier to keep an eye on them. Gators do not take kindly to anyone messing with their babies.
Most reptiles don’t bother, but alligators do. It’s such a departure from standard reptilian behavior, one is tempted to conclude that gators and crocs aren’t really reptiles at all, but rather are in a class by themselves.
Anyway, gator nests and nursery ponds are good places to avoid–at all times.
It’s not a worm, it’s not an insect–in fact, scientists still don’t know what it is for sure.
Presenting the Peripatus, aka the Velvet Worm, aka the Walking Worm. There are many species living throughout the Southern Hemisphere and around the Equator. They’re small, they come out mostly at night, and they creep around the leaf litter–so they aren’t often seen.
Jambo! This is Mr. Nature, with more of God’s stuff. We have plenty of fossils of various walking worms, and those look just like the worms we have today. They’ve had all that time–half a billion years! say the Darwinists–to evolve into Gender Studies professors, and look at ’em: they’re still walking worms.
Well, heck–they’re good at being walking worms, they’ve got it down to a science. Some species lay eggs, some bear live young. They all eat small insects, spraying a sticky good onto their prey to immobilize it. They are as God created them. They have no power to harm us in any way, and they look cool. Fascinating little creatures.