Hi, Mr. Nature here–with a deep-sea creature that looks like the product of a special effects crew.
The goblin shark wasn’t discovered until 1898. It has two far-out features. First, that long thing sticking way out the top of its head. It’s not a nose or a horn. It’s full of tiny sensors that enable the shark, in deep and lightless waters, to detect electrical fields given off by living things it might want to eat.
The second weird feature is a set of jaws that can be shot out in front of its head to catch prey–sort of like the choppers on the monster in Alien. Zap! Gotcha!
The shark in the video probably didn’t mean to attack the diver, and only accidentally got its teeth caught in the wet suit. This gives us a really good look at those extendable jaws.
Probably the closest look we’ll ever want to get.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, pleading with whoever’s out there to find this blog 131 more views before midnight–a tall order, but what does it hurt to ask?
Meanwhile, I found this nice video of a marine iguana peacefully feeding on seaweed underwater. I have to take issue with its billing as a “Godzilla lizard as big as a man.” Half of that length is just the tail, and a 6-foot-long marine iguana would be a real whopper. Not impossible, but quite unlikely. Nor does he look like Godzilla, King of the Monsters.
Marine iguanas live only on the Galapagos Islands and are not affiliated with the U.S. military. Social animals, they live in groups along the shore, basking on the sunny rocks. Males fight ritually, doing very little harm to one another, but sometimes have to break up fights between females, who have no time for ritual and take the issue of ownership of nesting space very seriously.
But it’s more of God’s stuff that’s been working without a hitch, just fine, for I don’t know how many centuries.
I’m lucky if my stuff works two days in a row.
Hi, Mr. Nature here! As you can see from this video, starfish can do things, albeit slowly. And that’s pretty remarkable, because a starfish doesn’t have a brain.
It’s a fact: no brain. It has a complicated nervous system; it can move, reproduce, respond to changes in the water, and hunt its prey; but it has no brain. (Note me laying off the wisecracks!)
So the question I have is this: can a starfish learn? And of course, to learn anything, you have to have some kind of memory. So we want to know if a starfish can remember anything.
I have been looking for answers to this question for years without ever having found one. You would think some marine biologist would be curious enough to do an experiment. If it were discovered that starfish can learn, and that without a brain, it would open up fascinating vistas of investigation.
If God did create the starfish with an ability to learn without a brain–wow!
While I hunt around for a suitable cat video for you, met the weta. Imagine a great big cricket as big as a hamster, with pinch-beetle jaws, and you’ve got the weta from New Zealand. Hot dog!
Hi, Mr. Nature here–dyin’ from the heat. Last week we had our winter coats on. Today it’s 95 degrees. Well, that’s New Jersey for you.
One thing we don’t have in New Jersey is yellow cardinals–the birds, I mean, not wishy-washy churchmen. For that you have to go to Kentucky.
But even in Kentucky, the yellow cardinal is quite rare. So much so, they urge you to take pictures if you see one. The Northern Cardinal most of us know is bright red (the males) or sort-of red with a green-brown overlay (females). Cardinals mate for keeps, and where you see the male, the female won’t be far behind–and vice-versa. The yellow form, ornithologists say, is a rare genetic mutation.
God has gifted these birds with spectacularly beautiful color, and we delight in them. Even in its fallen state, the world He has created offers beauty.
Whatever will it be like, when He regenerates His whole creation?
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-7
Watch these ants. Someone has spilled some grain on a stone step, and the ants have turned out in force to collect it, to bring it back to their nest and store it for future use. By the time they’re done, there won’t be a single kernel left on the stone.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff that works a lot better than anything we humans can invent. Who trains the ants to store food against lean times to come? Who organizes them? How, without a government, without a spoken language, do they work so efficiently together?
This is God’s providence, here applied to tiny creatures which we don’t even notice unless they happen to annoy us. But He has taken thought for all His creatures, even ants.
We have resources at our command that ants can’t even imagine; and yet, if it were left up to college students who say that “Food just is!”, and doesn’t have to be carefully tended and diligently worked for… well, we’d all starve.
The ants know better, don’t they?
This afternoon, as I forged ahead on my book, I was blessed with the sight of two goldfinches, a mated pair. The male is the bright yellow one, and the female has a kind of greenish tint.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff that really works and is a delight to His people.
Although the goldfinch is our state bird here in New Jersey, we don’t see them that often. But the male goldfinch is a real eye-catcher, and usually where you see one, you see both. They’re never very far from one another.
A good lesson for married people, that!
Hi, Mr. Nature here.
Some of you may not have heard of the horned frog mentioned in the cat video. Well, this is one–a small one. They grow a lot bigger, they have very sharp teeth and powerful jaws, and they do not want to play.
This frog is holding back, probably because he thinks the human hand and arm constitute a snake. He puffs himself up to make it harder for the snake to swallow him. Sooner or later he’ll realize his mistake, and then someone is in for a chomping.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a very rare and very impressive animal: the Japanese giant salamander. It’s related to our own America hellbender, which is a whopper in its own right: but this critter gets two or three times as big. A full-grown Japanese giant salamander is almost as big as you are. Not quite like the little redbacks you can find in your back yard!
There are also giant salamanders in China. Outside of the inevitable habitat loss and degradation, the biggest threat faced by these creatures is schmendricks who like to eat members of endangered species because it makes them feel like big shots. Whatever they have to say on Judgment Day had better be good.
All right, I know some of you get the creeps from looking at these animals. But they are part of God’s creation, they certainly do us no harm at all, they are rare and difficult to find–and they are worthy of our admiration, because they are the work of Our Creator’s hands.
I don’t know about you, but they leave me in awe of God’s vision.