Dancing Infrared Ground Squirrels
Numbers 21:9: "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
The last creature a rattlesnake wants to see is the California ground squirrel.
When an adult ground squirrel finds a rattlesnake, it begins to taunt the snake. The squirrel dashes into striking range, whips its tail about, bites the snake's tail and kicks sand on it. While a rattlesnake can strike with lightening speed, the little ground squirrel is even faster and well able to dart out of the way. Even if it was bitten, the venom wouldn't kill it since these squirrels have proteins in their blood that detoxify the poison. Frustrated snakes have been known to simply retreat when faced with this treatment.
Researchers have learned that the squirrels' bag of tricks is even deeper. Rattlesnakes can see heat as infrared light. When the ground squirrel is taunting the rattlesnake, it sends additional blood to its tail, causing it to heat up, producing a very obvious infrared image for the snake, further confusing it. Interestingly enough, when the ground squirrel taunts a gopher snake, which cannot detect the infrared, it does not heat its tail.
How does the squirrel know that the rattlesnake can be confused with an infrared show while the gopher snake cannot? The only explanation is that the Creator, Who made them both and calls us to saving faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, designed the ground squirrels' unique display.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for the wonders You have made and for the innocent death of Your Son to take my sins away. Amen.
Notes: Science News, 6/26/04, p. 403, S. Milius, "Hot Bother."
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