Birds disperse stick insects, according to reports in Science News and ScienceDaily 28 May 2018, and Ecology, 29 May 2018, doi: 10.1002/ecy.2230.
Stick insects are found throughout the world and scientists have wondered how they could have spread to land masses that are separated by long distances. Stick insects are large and don’t fly so they are not carried by winds, as lighter, more aerial insects can be. According to ScienceDaily, “Many relatives of stick insects have dispersed across islands unconnected to the mainland. The ability of animals with low mobility to successfully travel long distances is a topic that puzzled Darwin.”
Eggs of insects can easily become attached to bird’s feet and be deposited some distance away, but scientists in Japan have now found they could be dispersed through a method usually associated with plants, i.e. being eaten and passing through a bird’s digestive system. Birds may not seek out insect eggs as food, but they do eat adult insects, which may contain eggs.
The researchers fed three species of stick insects to brown eared bubuls, birds that are known to eat stick insects. They found that stick insect eggs are tough enough to survive being eaten and then deposited in the bird droppings. In their experiments between 5% and 20% of the eggs of all three species were excreted unharmed, and some of the eggs hatched.
Editorial Comment: Darwin and his followers were only perplexed as to how small, slow non-flying creatures could be so widespread, because they assuming they evolved in one place and must have taken millions of years of slow processes such as continental drift to spread across the globe.
Have you ever considered that when God created a whole world of functioning ecosystems, there would have been stick insects in many places over the face of the earth? During Noah’s Flood some may have survived in the ark, and others may have survived on mats of floating debris outside the ark. But after the flood, all could have quickly repopulated the planet on either floating debris, or by having their eggs carried by more mobile creatures, including by the method discovered above.
The same applies to other non-flying invertebrates that are too large to be simply blown about by winds, e.g. snails. For more details see the question: How did snails survive Noah’s flood. How did all the species spread around the world? Answer by our slug and snail expert Simon Terry here.
Evidence News vol. 18 No. 6
13 June 2018
Creation Research Australia
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