Heated Moths

Matthew 6:30
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?”

We tend to associate being warm-blooded with mammals and human beings. However, past Creation Moments programs have dealt with “warm-blooded” plants, reptiles and bumblebees. There is also a warm-blooded moth.

Since plants don’t have blood, you might suspect that we are here using a broader meaning for the term “warm-blooded.” When we use the term “warm-blooded” in referring to plants and insects, we are talking about a plant or animal that can generate enough body heat to carry on life normally even if the air temperature is below freezing. There are about 50 species of moths in North America that are active in the cold of winter.

It takes a good deal of energy to generate heat for such a tiny body since the heat is rapidly lost in the cold air. Most moths feed on nectar that is not available in the winter. The mystery deepens with the fact that the moth could not possibly store enough energy in its body to generate heat. Naturalists now have strong suspicions that these “warm-blooded” moths are involved in one of the strangest interrelationships in nature. They believe that the moths get their energy from sugar maple sap that is tapped and made available by red squirrels!

How the red squirrels do this is the topic of tomorrow’s Creation Moments program. For now, these warm-blooded moths teach us that the features we normally associate with more advanced creatures actually provide no evidence whatsoever for evolution.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank and praise You for the wonderfully creative ways in which You provide for all of Your creatures. Help me to remember Your care when I am concerned about the needs of my material life. Amen.

Ref: Heinrich, Brendt. 1991. “Nutcracker sweets.” Natural History, Feb. p. 8. Photo: Corn_Earworm_Moth_Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren CCA 2.0

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