“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you . . . Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?”
Have you ever watched ducks out on an icy lake paddling around in the near-freezing water. They will spend much of the day in that one spot with the temperature well below freezing, and yet the cold doesn’t seem to bother them. Perhaps on shore there are some sparrows hopping around in the snow. One wonders: why don’t birds need shoes and socks?
If you or I ran around with bare feet and legs when the temperature was below freezing, it would not be very long before we had a good case of frostbite. We could even lose so much body heat that our very lives would be threatened.
Birds have a network of arteries that all blood going into their legs must enter. These arteries are interwoven with the veins returning from the foot. When the blood going to the foot enters this structure, called a “wonder net,” its temperature is 106° F. The blood returning from the foot at the same time is only 37°F. The warm blood passing through the net reheats the cold blood coming from the foot before it enters the body. The result is that the bird loses very little body heat. So the blood going into the foot never becomes dangerously cold in normal winter weather.
The wisdom of this design is obvious. Could birds have survived having their feet frozen off before they learned to evolve this special arrangement? Our only conclusion can be that there is a Creator who cares for all of His creation, including you and me!
Prayer: I thank You, Lord, that Your hand is evident in all the creation. Help me to better see Your hand in my life, both leading me and protecting me. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
REF.: Why don’t duck’s feet freeze? Science Digest, Feb. 1984. p. 76. Photo: Penguin – Courtesy of Roux. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
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