“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”
The male bower bird is not the only creature who decorates his nest to attract a female mate. Biologists have discovered that male three-spined sticklebacks decorate their nests to attract females. What’s more, the females appear to like a well-decorated nest.
Male sticklebacks build their nests and then wait for a female to stop by and lay eggs. Typically, their nests are built of algae. It has long been thought that fish, including sticklebacks, build their nests in such a way as to be hidden from predators. But researchers in Norway noticed that some sticklebacks placed red algae around the door to their nests. Some used red algae that had died and turned orange. This observation caused the scientists to wonder if the fish were actually decorating their nests and whether this attracted females. So they cut some small foil strips and put them into their research aquarium. They offered the fish five different colors of foil. They also offered the fish some sequins. The fish quickly collected foil strips, especially red ones, for their nests but showed no interest in the sequins. Follow-up research showed that females preferred the most brightly decorated nests.
Beauty and the love of beauty is also evidence of our Creator, for Scripture links beauty with His holiness. That beauty is ours by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for the beauty of Your creation. I look to Jesus Christ for my holiness in Him. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Ref: Science News, 3/15/03, pp. 165-166, S. Milius, “Fish That Decorate.” Image: Postage Stamp (PD)
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