Episode 23: What do bats and pterosaurs have in common? How they get around gives scientists plenty to puzzle over. But first, a list of all the major bird families (and websites to find out more), and then it’s underwater to visit the gentle giants, Manatees!
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It was a pleasure linking to one of my favorite creation bloggers. Lee has been blogging about birds since 2008 and has oodles of fascinating articles to explore. The one you’ll want to check out for today’s topic is her Updated Listing of Birds by Families. It’s a great place to start an adventure learning about the huge variety of feathered creatures God came up with for Day 5 of Creation Week.
Lee is firmly devoted to the Bible. She leaves the science to others but does a good job showing the incompatibility of evolution and the Scriptures in a series of articles I mention.
We also had a brief look at another bird lover from Down Under: Aussie Birder. I ran into his blog when he commented on Lee’s website, and enjoyed his collection of birds local to his area of the world.
Studying Bat Flight
We had a good look at the opening statements and cool pictures from this study:
PLOS Biology: Falling with Style: Bats Perform Complex Aerial Rotations by Adjusting Wing Inertia November 16, 2015
Puzzling Pterosaur Motion
Bats are hard enough to study, try figuring out how creatures we only know from the fossil record got around!
Pterosaur.net has a really fun page showing the different ideas of how these extinct (as far as we can tell) flying creatures moved when not in flight. The page assumes evolution, but it’s not hard to pick up on all the evidence of lighter and more agile creatures surviving the flood waters longer before finally leaving interesting and even odd trackways in the mud before eventually being buried like their heavier cousins.
“Proof” of Pterosaur Evolution
About.com Education had a quote on this topic perfect for a teaching moment on evidence vs. belief:
“As is the case with dinosaurs, paleontologists don’t yet have enough evidence to identify the single ancient, non-dinosaur reptile from which all pterosaurs evolved (the lack of a “missing link”–say, a terrestrial archosaur with half-developed flaps of skin–may be heartening to creationists, but you have to remember that fossilization is a matter of chance. Most prehistoric species aren’t represented in the fossil record, simply because they died in conditions that didn’t allow for their preservation.)”
We saw these unusual creatures in their native environment by visiting Blue Spring State Park in Florida (great photos).
Most of the info we shared came either from plaques at the park or from Save the Manatee.org ‘s Coloring Book we picked up. You can print out your own copy, and check out lots of online activities on their Cool Stuff page.
I also briefly mention the history of how Florida began protecting the spring and its environment to help the manatees. You can read one of the articles I read (the plaques on site were really good, too) at Save the Manatee.
We looked up what Red Tide meant on NOAA’s page and did an image search for more pictures.
I’ve written a bit more about Manatees from reading a great library book (and mention the plight of the Amazon Manatee in the podcast), plus there’s the sad story of the Stellar’s Sea Cow we lost almost as soon as scientists discovered it.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Genesis 1:22-23