Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
Do spiny lobsters know that they are a delicacy to many, if not most, of the carnivores on earth? New research into the social habits of spiny lobsters shows that much of their interaction with each other is based on the fact that they have learned to cooperate in order to survive their many predators.
Logic told researchers that a lobster would have a better chance of escaping predators by hiding in a small hole all by itself. Yet, lobsters are often found in groups of ten or more. Researchers wanted to know if the lobsters knew something they didn’t.
They found that a lobster that was all alone would indeed hide in the smallest and most secure enclosure it could find. When more lobsters were present, however, they preferred to gather in larger enclosures. Lobsters that were not under threat from a predator would seek out roomier lairs. When a threat was present, they would still congregate, only in the smallest possible hiding place. This still made them more accessible to predators than if each was alone in a small hole. Researchers soon discovered that this disadvantage was outweighed because the larger group could more easily spot danger and alert the others. When threatened, the lobsters would face their attacker and try to fend it off by swatting it with their spiny antennae. The lobsters’ combined strategy was more effective than the strategy that seemed logical to the scientists.
This example shows us the limitations of science. The Creator made lobsters even smarter than scientists when it comes to lobster self-protection.
Dear Father, there is much pressure today to accept what science says, even when it disagrees with Your Word. Help me to see where and how this pressure affects me so that I may identify the problem and have a stronger, more informed faith. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Ezzell, Carol. 1992. “Spiny lobsters: there’s safety in numbers.” Science News, v. 141, May 30, p. 357. Photo: California spiny lobster. Courtesy of Magnus Kjærgaard. (CC BY-SA 2.5)