Psalm 19:1a, 4a

“The heavens declare the glory of God …. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

While the call of the cicada sounds like raucous chaos to us, researchers have only just learned that these amazing creatures have a complicated system of communication. Cicadas live underground for 13 to 17 years before emerging to live a few brief weeks to sing and mate before they die.

Immature cicadas feed off the fluids flowing through tree roots. One acre of ground can have as many as 400 pounds of immature cicadas beneath its surface. Once out of the ground, cicadas molt into their final adult form and, after a few days, are ready to begin mating. At this point, they have only four to six weeks to mate before they die. Males begin their call to find a suitable female. The male’s rasping call ends by slurring into a lower pitch. Then he listens. If a female is interested, she will make a click with her wings. The male responds and after several successful conversations, the male changes his style. If the female responds to this change with more clicks, the female will allow him to mate. Eggs are laid in the twigs. After they hatch, the hatchlings fall to the ground and begin burrowing to start the life cycle again.

While the racket made by cicadas sounds like random noise to us, it is a complex communication system that follows set rules. Complex systems of communication can only be the product of an intelligent Designer, the very Creator God Who is revealed in the Bible.     Author: Paul A. Bartz

Prayer: Thank You, dear Father, for the gift of communication. Amen.

Ref: Science News, 6/24/00, pp. 408‑410, “Cicada Subtleties.”

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