Mayfly Larva

Mayfly legs go with the flow according to Science (AAAS) News 17 January 2018.

Mayfly larvae on the genus Ecdyonurus graze on algae on rocks in flowing streams. The larvae are very small and light and the current could easily dislodge them, but they manage to stay in contact with the rocks even in rapidly flowing water.

A group of scientists have studied mayfly larvae and found they avoid being swept away by using their unusually shaped legs. The segment of their legs closest to their bodies is very wide, some much that they are sometimes called “muscle mayflies”. The researchers found these leg segments are shaped like an upside down aircraft wing and act like the rear spoiler on a racing car, using the flow of water over them to generate a downward force to keep them on the surface.

The researchers also found the mayflies actively angle the legs to get the right amount of downward force according to changes in the current flow. The Science News article concludes: “It’s an evolutionary trick that just goes to show: If you can’t beat the current, you might as well use it”.

Link: Science

Editorial Comment: This is a classic example of using the word “evolutionary” without giving any explanation of how such a clever structure could have evolved.

The old argument, which is usually ignored but very valid, is simple: ‘How could half-evolved mayfly larvae without such specialised grippers avoid getting swept off the algae covered rocks, and therefore be unable to feed?’ Note it is the larvae, i.e. the immature mayflies, that have this feature. Unless they survive this period of their life cycle they will not develop into mature adults that can reproduce and pass on any advantageous genes for legs to the next generation until the larvae have the complete structure, and know how to use it.

It takes more than just leg shape for the larvae to stay on their algae covered rocks. The larvae must be able to control the position of the leg as the water flow changes, which means they also need to be able to sense the flow and move their muscles to get the right angle. Therefore, before this clever system could work the larvae need to have the right shaped legs, water flow sensors, and a nervous system pre-programmed to interpret the input from the sense organs and direct the leg muscles to contract in the right way.

No-one believes structures and control mechanisms that do the same task to keep aircraft flying or hold racing cars on the ground got there by purposeless accidents. It is just as absurd to believe mayfly larvae got specialised legs by chance random processes.

By using the term “evolutionary trick” the scientists are guilty of an evolutionary con job! Whenever they ascribe purposeful creative design to evolution, they make evolution into a false god they worship. Instead they should be giving honour to the true God of Creation, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Photo of mayfly larva: Mayfly Larva: Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen CC BY-SA 3.0

Evidence News vol. 18, No.1
14 February 2018
Creation Research Australia

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