Do any of you recall an old television program called The Odd Couple? The program was about two men, Felix and Oscar that ended up sharing an apartment together. Felix was a neat freak who was thrown out by his wife. He ended up moving in with his friend, Oscar who was a real slob. The two men were complete opposites in virtually all aspects of life.
In the animal world, we also have of couples, complete opposites that strike up an unlikely relationship with each other. One such relationship involves a predator and a potential prey.
Most animals do their best to avoid potential predators. Gazelles ran away from leopards, mice hide from a cats and prairie dogs dive into their burrows to escape the hawks circling above. It’s the natural instinct of most animals.
However, a tiny frog in South America, the dotted humming frog, Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata, lives by a different set of rules. Being such a small frog in the jungle has its dangers as there are many predators that are always on the hunt for an easy meal of frog legs.
One such predator that lives in the forests of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru is the burrowing tarantula, Xenesthis immanis. The burrowing tarantula is a fairly large spider and is easily capable of killing and eating small rodents and frogs, and often does if given the chance.
Surprisingly, the dotted humming frog not only seems oblivious to the dangers of the larger burrowing tarantula, it seeks it out. Further more, it just doesn’t seek it out, but it actually follows the tarantula to its burrow and crawls in with the spider. And amazingly, the tarantula ignores the presence of the frog and passes up an easy meal.
So what would make this frog crawl into the lair of a dangerous predator and why would the spider not kill and eat the frog?
The burrowing tarantula lays its eggs in its burrow to keep them away from harm. However, the eggs are not completely safe from harm as various insects such as ants readily try to invade the burrow and prey upon the spider’s eggs. The dotted humming frog feeds on ants and other small insects and finds a ready supply of them in the tarantula’s burrow. The tarantula, for some reason, realizes that the tiny frog protects its eggs from being eaten by the insects, and consequently leaves the frog alone. Not only does the frog find a supply of food, it also benefits from the protection of the tarantula as other predators will not tangle with the dangerous spider.
This odd couple arrangement poses a question for evolutionists. Evolution and natural selection are based upon the concept of survival of the fittest, the strong usurping the weak, and nature red in tooth and claw. How do they explain the development of such a relationship? How many frogs were killed and eaten by the tarantulas before the tarantulas realized they were there to eat the insects that were eating their eggs? If tarantulas were killing the frogs to begin with, wouldn’t the frogs soon learn that this a predator to avoid?
The relationship between the dotted humming frog and burrowing tarantula defies evolutionary explanation. The only logical explanation is that these two creatures were instinctively designed to have this mutually beneficial relationship.
And that poses another problem for evolutionist. How do they explain instincts exhibited by so many animals? Where does this built in knowledge come from? How do animals acquire such knowledge and how is it impressed in their genes?
Again, the only logical explanation is that an intelligent Creator designed these animals with certain instinctive qualities that gives them the knowledge to behave and react in certain ways so as to be mutual beneficial to each other.
Hansen, Clarence M., Pint-Sized Frogs and Colossal Spiders: Best Friends or An Easy Meal? Save the Reptiles.com, Feb. 16, 2010.
Wild Amazon: Hidden Land of Change, The Animal Planet, 2011.
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 movementin the same vein as Dr Sarfatis comprehensive Refuting Compromise, which is arguably the most powerful biblical and scientific defense of straightforward Genesis in existence.