Those Clever Whales, Dolphins, and Seals
"Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths..."
Scientists have long wondered how deep-diving creatures such as the whale and the dolphin can dive so deeply on one breath. It takes a great deal of energy for a seal, for example, to dive 1,200 feet deep and then return to the surface. Scientists computed that one breath should not be able to provide enough oxygen to burn the muscular fuel necessary for such dives.
In one attempt to learn how deep-diving sea creatures do what seems to be impossible, researchers even built a robotic fish. Their studies of how the fish swam indicated that gliding would not conserve a deep-diving creature's energy. However, scientists have finally been able to attach video cameras to deep divers and have discovered their secrets. The cameras were designed to show scientists exactly how the animals moved. They found that these animals actually do save energy for their return to the surface by gliding into the depths. To their surprise, researchers saw that as the animals descend water pressure squeezes their bodies into a smaller volume, making them more dense. The pressure also flattens air sacs in their lungs, further helping the animal to descend. These effects help save oxygen reserves for hunting and the return to the surface. Scientists marveled at how clever the animals are.
No one has even seen cleverness result from the chance forces that supposedly drive evolution. Intelligent design comes from an intelligent Designer, our Creator God.
Prayer: Dear Father, help me to glorify You with my actions. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Ref: Science News, 4/8/00, p. 230, "How whales, dolphins, seals dive so deep."
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