Ducks are fun to watch.  As they walk on land, their waddling looks so awkward and often comical.  But when they take to the water or the air, they become masters of their environment.

Unlike most larger birds, ducks have relatively small wings compared to their body size and shape.  Consequently, ducks have to beat their wings faster than many larger birds just to stay in flight.  That faster wing beat also helps them fly faster than other larger birds like geese, hawks and eagles.  Pintail ducks have been clocked at up to 100 mph in flight.

Many of the larger bodied ducks are so heavy that they need a runway to help them get up enough speed to get off the ground.  When trying to take off on water, they look like they are running on the surface of the water.

Ducks also come with a variety of colors from the iridescent blues, greens and purples to yellows, reds and oranges.  Some ducks are drab shades of browns, some just black and white and others are a spectacle of color like the American wood duck.  Some ducks have yellow bills, some have brown or black bills and one duck, the ruddy duck has a blue bill.

As amazing as ducks are to watch, they are even more amazing testimonies to God’s creation.

Take for instance the wood duck.  Females make their nests high in hollowed out section of trees.  Some wood duck nests can be as high as 70 to 100 feet above the ground.  The female will lay one egg a day for up to 10-12 days.  Even though some of the eggs were laid a week and half apart, they will all hatch within a 24 hour period.  How some eggs know to develop quicker than others is still a mystery, but they do.

Then one day after the young hatch, mom wood duck will fly down to the pond or lake nearby and call out to her brood of ducklings.  The baby ducks already know the voice of their mother and climb to the edge of the nest hole, look out into the world for the first time and then leap out into the air.  Their wings are too small to help them fly and they fall helplessly to the ground far below.  You would think they would be killed when they hit the ground, but they usually just bounce on the ground and then head for momma who is calling them to the water.

When they reach the water, they wade right in, start swimming and looking for food immediately.  Momma duck doesn’t teach them how to swim or what to eat.  The day old ducklings automatically know these things as if it were already programmed into their tiny little bird brains.  How did that information get there?  It had to be there from the very beginning.

My favorite design feature of ducks is the counter-current heat exchange system in the legs.  Ducks can often be found in water cold enough that it is starting to freeze at the surface.  The temperature of the water can be just above freezing and yet ducks can be seen swimming in the frigid waters.  There are no feathers on their legs or feet to keep them warm, so you would expect them to lose a lot of body heat in their feet.  In addition, the blood returning from the feet would be so cold that it should cool down the duck’s entire body.

If the blood vessels in the duck’s legs were like those of most birds, it would be a huge problem with heat loss and extreme cooling off of the body of the duck, but it isn’t a problem at all.  As the artery carrying the blood enters the leg, it branches out into a sort of net of arteries.  Likewise, the vein carrying the blood from the feet back to the body also branches out into a net at the same location as the artery.  The two networks intermingle against each other and the heat from the artery is transferred to the cold blood in the vein.

The result is that the blood that actually reaches the feet has already been cooled so very little heat is lost to the cold water.  Operating in reverse the cold blood returning from the feet is warmed up by the artery so that the blood is close to body temperature as it enters back into the body of the duck.

Without this counter-current heat exchange system, ducks would freeze to death in icy waters, but God created this special system to prevent that from happening.  Ask an evolutionist how such a heat exchange system could have evolved and how many ducks froze to death before it finally evolved?

Nature, a program on PBS stations, aired a program called, An Original DUCKumentary.  If you ignore all of the evolution they weave into the program, it actually talks about some of these special design features of ducks.  It also has some beautiful video of various ducks.  Just remember as you watch it to look for the things that God designed and ignore the evolution.



An Original DUCKumentary, Nature, Nov. 14, 2012.

Why Don’t Ducks’ Feet Freeze?,

By Design: Evidence for Nature’s Intelligent Designer–the God of the Bible

By Dr. Jonathan Sarfati

At last, a definitive work on design by a leading biblical creationist…

Today, the ID (intelligent design) movement is capturing headlines (and igniting controversy) around the world. But in the process, many are coming to think that a credible challenge to the dominant Darwinian naturalism of our time means backing away from a clear stand for the truth of the Bible.

Now creationist heavyweight Jonathan Sarfati, whose Refuting Evolution has the most copies in print of any creation book ever, challenges this mindset head on. In the process, By Design is set to become a classic of the creation movement in the same vein as Dr Sarfati’s comprehensive Refuting Compromise, which is arguably the most powerful biblical and scientific defense of straightforward Genesis in existence.

Paperback, 150 pages

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