Brazil nut seed pods

As far back as I can recall I have always been fascinated with animals, plants and nature in general.  I grew up with a love of the outdoors.  My family did a lot of camping, hunting and fishing.  I was taught to look for various animal signs, bird calls, animal sounds and how to track many animals.  I guess it was only natural that I studied biology in school and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology.

I also enjoy watching nature and science programs on TV, but find myself having to wade through all of the erroneous evolutionary interpretations.  Recently I was watching a program called Wild Amazon, on the Animal Planet channel.  This one particular episode, Hidden Land of Change, had a couple of scenarios that caught my attention.

The first segment that caught my interest involved a ménage à quad relationship between a tree, a flower, an insect and a rodent.

It all starts in South America, with the Brazil nut tree, Bertholletia excelsa.  The Brazil nut tree grows to heights of 150 feet with a base diameter up to 7 feet.  They produce a flower with very stiff and strong petals.  Most insects don’t have the strength to open the petals enough to reach the nectar inside the flower and thus are incapable of pollinating them.   However the large female orchid bee of the genus Euglossa, is strong enough to lift the petal hood of the flower.  She also has a very long tongue that can reach the coiled interior’s rich nectar.  In the process, the female orchid bee pollinates the Brazil nut flower.

Male orchid bees are too small to open and pollinate the Brazil nut flowers and they have absolutely no interest in the Brazil nut tree what-so-ever.  Their main interest is attracting female bees for the purpose of mating.  To accomplish this, the male bee seeks out the Coryanthes vasquezii orchid, where he wallows and covers himself with the orchid scent, kind of like how some men dowse themselves with aftershave or men’s cologne before going out on the hunt.  Once covered with the orchid’s fragrant aroma, the male orchid bee searches for a larger female bee.  If the orchid scent meets her approval, they mate and she will produce new orchid bees.  If it doesn’t meet her approval, he seeks another orchid and repeats the process.  Without the scent of this particular orchid, the female bee will not mate with the male.

Once pollinated, the Brazil nut flower grows into a cannonball sized seed pod which contains up to 20 Brazil nuts.  When the pods get ripe, they fall to the ground with a tremendous thud.  (Image having one them fall from 100+ feet up and hitting you on the head.)  The seed pods are extremely hard and do not break open on impact.  In fact, they are so hard, that virtual no animal in the South American forests can crack or chew through them.  That is except a cat-sized rodent known as an agouti.  There were several species of agoutis belonging to the genus Dasyprocta that inhabit the forests where the Brazil nuts grow.  The agouti has extremely sharp incisors and very strong jaws, giving them the ability to chew through the hard outer shell of the seed pods, allowing them to dine on the highly nutritional nuts inside.

However, most agoutis cannot eat all of the nuts at one time, so they dig a hole and bury the rest of the opened seed pod in order to save it for another day.  Once the seed pod is buried and the soil reaches the nuts inside the opened pod, they germinate and begin to grow new Brazil nut trees and the cycle begins all over again.

This is a very interesting relationship between the Brazil nut tree, the Coryanthes vasquezii orchid, the orchid bee and the agouti.  Remove the orchid from the scene and the bees won’t mate and if they don’t mate, the flowers do not get pollinated and produce seed pods.  Remove the agouti from the scene and the opened seed pods do not get buried and germinate into new trees, thus greatly reducing the number of new trees to replace the older ones.

As I pondered this relationship, I started to wonder what kind of a problem this ménage à quad symbiotic relationship presents for evolutionists.  When did each of the four parts supposedly evolve?

From what I could ascertain, flowering pants first evolved about 140 million years ago, but it is safe to say that trees like the Brazil nut were not among the first to evolve and probably came about much later around 110-120 million years or so.  Bees first show up in the fossil record about 100 million years ago.  Orchids first show up about 80 million years ago.  But the clincher is that South American rodents, including the agouti, didn’t evolve until only about 35 million years ago.

According to evolutionary sources, the trees mostly likely evolved 10-20 million years before the bees evolved.  The bees evolved about 20 million years before the orchid evolved and the orchid evolved nearly 45 million years before the agouti evolved.

Sorry, folks, but I just can’t see the Brazil nut trees living for over 20 millions waiting for the bees to evolve to pollinate them.  And I don’t think the male bees waited another 20 million years for the orchids to evolve so he would have the right scent to attract the female in order to produce more bees.  Finally, I don’t see many seed pods lying on the ground for 45 million years waiting for the agouti to evolve so it could bury them and greatly increase their chances of germination.

From an evolutionary stand point, there is no good explanation for this relationship between the tree, orchid, bee and rodent.

However, it is easily explained from a biblical perspective.  Genesis tells us that all plants with their seed were created on Day 3.  This would include the Brazil nut tree and the orchid.  Insects, including bees were created on Day 5 and the land animals, including the agouti on Day 6.  There is no problem with time gaps for this unique relationship to be established from the very beginning.

Once again, the evidence only makes sense when one first starts with the truth of God’s Word.


Wild Amazon: Hidden Land of Change, The Animal Planet, 2011.

15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History

Author: Don Batten and Jonathan Sarfati

Many have been misled into thinking that the Genesis account of creation is not actual history, but is just some sort of theological argument (‘polemic’). This small book succinctly shows why those who believe in the inspiration of Scripture have no intellectually honest choice but to take Genesis as straight-forward history, just as Jesus did. It powerfully challenges one of the major problems in the church today that affects the authority of the entire Bible. Read it, and give it to your pastor or particularly anyone contemplating theological training—it could save them from getting derailed by some of the misleading arguments common in theological academia.

High School–Adult: 32 pages.

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