Sunday, September 16, 2007

Predatory World

It has been a great summer for bug watching. Watching predatory behavior is fun, but I empathize a little too much with higher animals who are being attacked and eaten. That goes for the films on Animal Planet and National Geographic about crocodiles eating zebras, or lions eating wildebeasts, or hawks eating rabbits. Surely the prey animals must feel something akin to pain, if not despair. It's the natural order of things, and the way God designed it. Maybe animals have to suffer alongside mankind because Adam fell from grace. Well, I don't have to watch it. But I do, occasionally, because predatory behavior is fascinating.

That's why I like documentaries about insects. It's hard to empathize with insects -- though watching mud daubers roll spiders up into little balls for feeding to their larva even tests that proposition. The mystery is why the spiders don't even fight back. Apparently it has been known for some time that any other insect invading a wolf spider's lair will be attacked and dispatched. But send a wasp down there, and the spider's attitude changes from opportunistic predator to cringing prey from the instant the wasp's attennae touch her. It doesn't even try to fight; it wraps its legs around itself and waits for the sting.

Darwinists like to talk about evolved behaviors and survival of the fittest. How do they explain a prey species evolving a behavior that benefits its predator? Where does that fit into the Darwinist rubric?

Last weekend, I saw a very impressive wasp digging a hole in my backyard. Very large, very active. She seemed aware of my presence, but mostly ignored me, as she disappeared over and over again into the hole, and pulled out some dirt. I looked up wasps on the web and discovered she was a digger wasp. I'm not very familiar with the species, and understand that they're somewhat rare in these parts.

She looked formidable. I don't know what poor insect is her preferred prey, but whatever it is, I feel sorry for it.

2 comments:

Glen said...

Darwin can explain this behavior. The wolf spider has evolved into the modern liberal. When a species develops such a refined sense of self loathing that it just curls up in a ball and waits for the end, then extinction is just around the corner.

Just because a species is highly evolved doesn't mean it will adapt to current threats in it's environment. Remember, only the fittest will survive!

Lee said...

And who are the fittest? Why, it's those who survive.

And who are those who survive? Why, they are the fittest!

Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be a shortage of wolf spiders. Apparently, God knew what He was doing when he made them the way they are. Otherwise, we might all be waist-deep in wolf spiders.