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Today's Creation Moment

Mar
31
How Many Smells Can You Smell?
Psalm 45:8
"All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad."
Until recently it was commonly thought that humans can smell approximately 10,000 different odors. But that's no longer thought to be true. So how many different odors can that nose in the middle of...
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Intimidating Duets

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Ecclesiastes 12:4b
"... and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low..."

Precision in communication is highly important. This is especially true of the type of communication called music, whether you are talking about Mozart or magpie-larks.

Female magpie-larkOnly about three percent of bird species are known to sing duets. In a duet, one mate begins singing, and the other mate begins a half second later. Among Australian magpie-larks, pairs that are newly mated usually lack that precision. However, in pairs that have been together for two years, the lag time of the duet usually varies by only a few hundredths of a second.

Researchers also discovered that this precision serves a purpose. Male magpie-larks respond to perceived threats by increasing their singing. When they played the less-precise duets to 12 pairs of other magpie-larks, the males only responded in this way seven times in five minutes. However, the more-precise duets resulted in nine responses in five minutes. In short, other magpie-larks are more intimidated by pairs that sing with precision than by those who do not. This is important in preserving an established couple's territory from invasion by new couples.

Communication with precision is yet another fingerprint of God on the creation. In Scripture, the ultimate in precise communication, God even points us to the birds as He urges us to recognize His involvement in the creation.

Prayer: 
Thank You, Father, for taking care of all Your creation and especially for sending Your Son to save me. Amen.
Notes: 
Science News, 6/9/07, p. 357, S. Milius, "Scary Singing." Photo: Female magpie-lark. Courtesy of J.J. Harrison. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.