Red Panda, Photo credit: schani

Red Panda

Red Panda, Photo credit: schani A few years ago we took our kids to a small local zoo and I got to see these critters for the first time.  Even the daddies are so adorable I wanted to pick one up and snuggle (poor guy)!

Like its neighbor, the Giant Panda, the Red Panda is endangered with only about 2,500 adults left alive right now.  But, unlike the Giant Panda, Red Pandas often have babies in zoos, making it more hopeful that we can protect them for the future.

So, besides being as cute as a stuffed animal, what is a Red Panda like? They grow to be about the size of a house cat, but with an 18in [46cm] long tail (ringed like a Racoon), making them about 42in [106cm] long from nose to tip.  They only weigh 7-13lbs [3-6kg], but they look heavier than that when you see them because their fur is so long and thick.

Like the Giant Panda, God has provided the Red Panda with an unusual feature. Their wrists have a bony projection that works like a thumb that helps them hang on to things.

A Red Panda’s coloring helps it blend into the lichens growing on its forested environment. Their soft fur grows everywhere on them, in their ears and even on their paw pads. This is a good thing for them because they like to live in the mountains and cool forests where it snows in the winter. Their bushy tail makes a particularly excellent nose warmer for a cold winter night!

Geographic distribution of the Red Panda (Ailu...

Geographic distribution of the Red Panda

Red Pandas live wild on the band of high land running from India, Nepal and Bhutan on the west through China and as far east as northern Myanmar and Laos.

Like the Giant Panda, their favorite food is bamboo, which is really hard to digest and has few calories. This means both of these animals are dependent on a large and steady supply bamboo, but bamboo has a habit of all flowering and dying at once. Farmers have cleared a lot of the land these animals used to roam around, so they are often stuck in one area where the bamboo might die suddenly.

Unlike the Giant Panda, the Red Panda regularly eats more than just bamboo. They are also fond of fruit and berries in the Summer and has even been known to occasionally eat eggs and baby birds, small rodents and bugs. Because of this better diet, Red Panda mothers usually have two babies each year and can bear up to 5! Baby Red Pandas stay with their mom until the next winter when they have to fend for themselves.

Adult Red Pandas live all alone except for mating time and when a mother is raising her babies. They only live to be about 13 years old in the wild with one known to have lived to 17 in captivity. This means an average mother could have about 20 babies in her life, but some of them are likely to be eaten by yellow martens (sort of like weasels) before they can grow up.

Red Pandas, being much smaller than the Giant ones, love to climb and hang out in trees. Their long tails help them balance as they move around on the branches. The one I saw at the zoo was taking a nap with its head stretched along a tree limb and its legs hanging down on both sides. Trees also make a good place to hide from snow leopards who find them tasty and people who like to turn their tails into wedding hats. They also tend to be fairly quiet, making twittering and whistling noises when they want to talk to each other.

Showcase for Evolution- Not!

National Geographic tells us that, “The red panda has given scientists taxonomic fits.”  [tax-uh-nomic: put into groups]  That means the Red Panda is a problem for people who want to say that everything developed from one animal along a bunch of Evolutionary paths that grew more and more unique from each other. Why?

The Red panda is similar to some animals that aren’t ‘supposed’ to be close on the ‘tree of life.’ They have a few features in common with the Giant Panda, which doesn’t surprise anyone. But, they have more in common with the raccoons of  North America as well as weasels.

We know that all things were designed by one Master Creator and it doesn’t surprise us at all that the Red Panda is a variation on a number of God’s themes.

Fossil Red Pandas

We’ve learned  that there were once Red Pandas living in what is now North America. In 1977 a fossilized Red Panda tooth was found in Washington State.  In the last ten years almost a whole fossilized skeleton has found  in Tennessee!!

A bunch of animals (like the Saber-tooth Tiger, Shovel-tusk Elephant, and more) got washed into a sink hole along with at least two Red Pandas.  Interestingly, the bones seem to show that they used to eat a wider variety of foods back then.  But from what I’ve read about dinos, scientists have vivid imaginations about possible diets for fossilized critters.

Pay attention to where they say the fossil Panda “has both primitive and derived characteristics.”  That means they think it was both closer to and farther from a single celled organism than modern ones!  Right…

Bonus

The page on Red Pandas at Animal Info had some interesting historical trivia about them.  It says westerners were told about the Red Panda before the Giant Panda. It was first called the “Wah” (the Nepali name for it) after its loud call and then the “Poonya” which was another local name meaning “bamboo eater”.  We English speakers had trouble saying this, so we changed the name to Panda.  So the Red Panda got its name first and the Giant one borrowed it!

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee;  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? Job 12:7a,9

Photos by my dear husband and me taken at Binder Park Zoo near of Battle Creek, MI

Other sites I used to research this post:

National Zoo: Red Panda

Curraghs Wildlife Park’s Fact File

Wikipedia: Red Panda

Marsh Blooms NOAA-Ocean-Waves Wikipedia-Geologic Column Chart

The Geologic Column

Geologic time scale covering the Precambrian a...

Geologic time scale

If you’ve ever looked at a book about geology at a public school or the library, you probably ran into one of these charts.  Ever since Charles Lyell made Uniformitarianism popular, many people have looked at the order of the sedimentary rocks as “proof” that the earth is millions of years old and that Evolution is true.  But, is that what the rocks really show?

First, we have to remember that we cannot actually ‘see’ the past in the rocks. Every scientist makes guesses about what the things we find in the rocks actually mean. What we do see is layers of sedimentary rocks where we find different types of animals and plants preserved as fossils.

People claim there are 26 places in the world that contain all the layers a chart like this one shows.  (I’ll put up a link at the end to an Evolutionist saying this.)  Interestingly, they are all in a basin (a bowl-like valley).  Since this would have protected the sand and other things that dropped out of the water when the waves calmed down, it makes a lot of sense that these places would have such neat layering.  (I’m going to post later about other interesting things that happen in some of these basins (ever heard of Ayer’s Rock?).

Everywhere else in the world we find missing layers (called Unconformities), out of order layering, which would mean (if the timeline idea was correct) that millions of years vanished from most places and sometimes earlier times happened after later times!

So, since we have decided to believe the only eye witnesses there were of these events (Noah’s family and God), what do we actually see in the fossil layers?  We see that the lowest rocks contain tiny sea creatures.  The next layers up have larger sea creatures.  As you get closer to the surface, lizards, then really big lizards (aka Dragons), then little mammals, then big mammals were buried.

This fits in nicely with a Global Flood that took five months (Genesis 7:24) to completely bury the highest points on earth at the time.  Things that were near the bottom of the water got buried first, then larger fish and sea creatures, then finally land animals that lived near the water and that weren’t fast enough to run away.  Last to be buried were the quick creatures, far from the old oceans, whose bodies took longer to sink after drowning.  Check out this PDF with cool pictures of Pre-Flood environments from Answers in Genesis.  And two more from Biblical Geology.net that explain how the Geologic Column fits in with the Flood:  Page 1 and Page 2.

Just thinking about the billions of dead things the rocks have preserved for us to find is sad and scary.  When God said He was going to start over again, He meant it!

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  And saying, Where is the promise of his [Jesus’] coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation[uniformitarianism].   For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. II Peter 3:3-7

Praise our powerful, just, and merciful Creator for the protection we can have in Jesus’ blood!!

The Entire Geologic Column in North Dakota by an Evolutionist (scroll to the end of the article to read about the other places in the world with all the layers)

Creation Ministries International’s response to this claim

Geologic Column is a General Flood Order with many exceptions CMI

Institute for Creation Research: Understanding Evidence for the Biblical Timescale     

Really long, big-word-using fossil layer article from Answers in Genesis

description of the Layers in the Grand Canyon Region from Answers in Genesis

open Bible

Science in the Bible: Fossils

English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey

The other night I was reading Revelation 5:13 for the umpteenth gazillion time and I saw something I’ve never seen before (ask your pastor, you can never learn everything there is in the Bible, even the bits you know best).

Check it out:

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Before I tell you what I saw, let’s go over some basics.  When you want to learn something you start by asking questions. Let’s go over the ones every journalist knows: the five Hs and a W.

  • Who- “every creature” with the objects being “him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” (meaning God the Father and Jesus, our Savior)
  • What-  the creatures said, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him…”
  • When- the verse doesn’t say, but this is shortly after John shows up in Heaven’s throne room, just after the Lamb is given a scroll with 7 seals that He alone is worthy to open
  • Where- “in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea,”
  • Why- again, you don’t know just from the verse, but the answer to “When” gives us an idea
  • How- I have no idea how all these things “say” all this. In fact, this event is well before the earth is subdued under its rightful King, so there are a bunch of unrepentant people who are part of these against their will

StudyingI know, I know, it almost drains the life out of a verse to pull it apart like that, but in order to get to the deep stuff you have to.   Have you ever memorized something?  You have to go over it so many times you get sick, but then it is yours.  Once you’ve done the hard work, you can enjoy reviewing and thinking about what you have learned any time you want and add life back in to your new understanding.

Here’s what I was focusing on while reviewing this verse the other day.  The list of every single creature describes them by where they are, rather than what they are.  “In heaven” would be all the angelic beings as well as God’s people who have joined them at that point.  “On the earth,…  and such as are in the sea”: well, that would be everything living on earth when this event occurs.

psiloceras planorbis (Ammonite Fossil)

But what about “under the earth”?  I’d always figured it just meant moles, earthworms, and such, plus probably those people who had already died without Jesus’ covering blood. This is true, but not yet all-inclusive.  There is a whole other set of creatures “under the earth.”  You already know what I’m getting to because I had to put it in the title: fossils.

Every time we dig up a fossil or examine one at a museum, it declares the power and judgment of God.  They are indeed silent witnesses to the “honor, and glory, and power” of the Creator.

It is interesting that they are part of the group that adds “blessing” to Him as well. Fossils are the best sources we have to learn about the full range of creatures God made for the original world.  Would you know God made giant lizards bigger than a school bus without fossils? There is also God’s promise that the world will someday be restored.  Exactly how this will work out is a mystery, but here are some of our best clues:

Everything God made was allowed to become like something
that cannot fulfill its purpose. That was not its choice, but God made
it happen with this hope in view: That the creation would be
made free from ruin
—that everything God made would have the same freedom
and glory that belong to God’s children. Romans 8:20,21
Easy-to-read Version

Priscacara liops ::Stage : Eocene from 55,8 ± ...

Every living creature which swarms where the river flows will live; there will be many fish, for these waters flow there. It will become fresh and everything will live where the river flows. Ezekiel 47:9 NET

Lord, all living things depend on you….When you take away their breath,they die, and their bodies return to the dust.
But when you send out your life-giving breath,things come alive, and the world is like new again! Psalm 104:27a,29b,30 EtrV

Marsh Blooms Folded Rock Layers-Zion Nation Park, Wikimedia

See a Fossil Collector at Work (+ an Alp horn!)

Finally getting around to checking out Creation Research’s Evidence News (letter), I followed the link to a new museum in Canada:

Southern Ontario Creation Flood Evidence Museum

quarry on Lake Luzern

quarry on Lake Luzern (Photo credit: shaferlens)

 

The link is already loaded onto my museum page so you can find it whenever you’re interested.

The page that was fascinating is about a recent (this Summer) fossil collecting trip to Switzerland and Germany.  It is a very long, but almost all photography page with some little video links so you feel like you came along with them.

My favorites were the folded mountain pictures (I spotted two) and the video of an Alp Horn player performing Amazing Grace.  I’d never heard an Alp Horn played, although I’ve known about it since my Richard Scarry days. 😀

 

NOAA-Ocean-Waves