One of the most difficult
things to do in nature is to maintain a balance between food supplies
and survival of a species. We have learned in recent years that when
man makes a change in one part of the ecosystem there are many
ramifications for everything in the system. Insects are an especially
sensitive part of the environment. Too many insects can wipe out a
plant population and cause problems for all living things in the
ecosystem. However, the insects themselves are important to keep plant
growth under control and to do things like pollinating and decomposing
“Praying mantis” is the colloquial name for an
insect of the mantid family. The “praying” comes from the fact that it
stands in a position that resembles praying. However, it is sometimes
called “preying mantis” because it is a predator of other insects.
Along with bats, it helps to keep other insect populations under
control. The problem for mantids is since they are insects too, bats
will eat them. Since mantids do not fly very well they could be easy
prey for the bats and get wiped out very quickly. The reason that this
does not happen is that mantids have what is called a Cyclopean ear
located deep in the center of its thorax. This ear, which is not seen
in any other form of life, is sensitive to the frequencies that bats
use when hunting prey. The mantids have a survival technique that is
very successful. When the mantid receives the ultrasonic signal from a
nearby bat it dives straight down in a tight spiral which the bat
cannot follow. Hearing the bat before it gets too close, enables this
escape system to work.
Evolutionary theory would suggest that the mantids
evolved the technique over a period of many years, but fossil evidence
shows that the mantids were in existence for a long time before bats
appeared on earth. That means the escape device was designed and
operational before the predator came on the scene.
Survival systems demand incredibly sophisticated
design and the natural world is full of examples of unique organs and
systems that allow life to be abundant and varied on our planet.
Everywhere we look we can see God’s wisdom through the things He has
1:19 – 22).
Source: National Wildlife,
April 2010, page 24, and
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