“Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?”
Some creatures simply try to look uninteresting to hungry predators. Others take their role-playing so seriously that they actually fulfill some of the same roles as their models.
Loopers, or inchworms, move along the ground, twigs or branches with the characteristic opening and closing of an upside-down letter U. These creatures are not true worms. Rather, they are caterpillars. As caterpillars, they often look very much like the twigs or branches on which they move. However, their odd form of movement can give them away.
Here’s an experiment you can try. If you ever notice a looper on a branch, simply give the branch a gentle tap. Chances are, the looper will suddenly freeze into the same shape as a nearby twig. If you were to carefully touch the looper, you would find that it had become as stiff as a twig. A botanist reports that while studying one looper moving along a branch, an ant happened along. Ants, of course, will eat loopers. The looper froze in a horizontal position between branches. The ant walked across the looper, never noticing that its walkway was actually a potential meal.
Many scientists suggest that the looper “just happens” to be the same color as the branches on which it crawls. We ask, does it also accidentally know how to act like a twig to fool predators? The almighty hand of God is evident even in the inchworm!
Dear Lord, all knowledge and wisdom comes from You. Grant me Your Holy Spirit so that through Your Word I may be taught more by You than I have allowed myself to learn in the past. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
“The looper – inching along from one disguise to another.” National Geographic, Mar. 1980. p. 398. Photo: Courtesy of Mila. GNU Free Documentation License.