Weevil larvae at sea according articles in Journal of Experimental Biology, 13 December 2018, doi: 10.1242/jeb.195792.

Flightless insects and small invertebrates are found all over the world, including remote islands. In order to get to such places they must cross long stretches of ocean.  Even if they are carried on rafts of vegetation they will still be exposed to saltwater during the voyage.  Researchers at the National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan, noted that the flightless weevil Pachyrhynchus jitanasaius had managed to spread to many remote islands and suggested they probably survived the journey as larvae that had burrowed into fruit, which was then transported by ocean currents after falling into the sea.

To test this theory they first immersed eggs, larvae and adults in freshwater, brackish water and seawater for seven days. None of the adults survived, but 25% of the larvae and 80% of the eggs survived in the seawater.  They then placed larvae in the fruits of a fish poison tree and placed the fruit in a tank of seawater fitted with a wave machine to simulate floating on the ocean.  They also set fruit containing larvae adrift in the Kuroshio current off Taiwan for six days.  Two of the tank larvae and two sea-going larvae survived and went on to develop in to adults.  Six days is sufficient time for fruit to drift from the Babuyna Islands, off the Philippines, to the Japanese Yaeyama Islands.

The researchers concluded “This study provides the first empirical evidence that P. jitanasaius larvae can survive ‘rafting’ on ocean currents and that the eggs and larvae of these weevils have the highest probability to cross the oceanic barrier. This ability may facilitate over-the-sea dispersal of these flightless insects and further shape their distribution and speciation pattern in the Western Pacific islands.”


Editorial Comment:  Wow, and people have thought it not possible to repopulate and revegetate the world quickly after Noah’s flood.  Perhaps there are some good clues in this research, because this study of raft-riding weevils is a good reminder of how quickly living things can spread around the world.

It is easy to forget that most of the lifespan of insects is spent as eggs and larvae, so even if adults cannot fly or tolerate being exposed to harsh conditions such as seawater, their eggs and larvae may be able to survive perilous journeys on floating debris. Many insects and small invertebrates have also have been dispersed around the world as eggs or larvae on the feet or feathers of flying birds.

We also know that life quickly moves into barren islands from our observations of newly formed volcanic islands that can suddenly emerge from the sea and support functioning ecosystems within a few years. Therefore, it is no problem to understand how the world was rapidly replenished after being devastated by Noah’s flood.

Studies of animal movements over land and sea indicate the distribution of living creatures over the face of the earth can be explained by migration from Noah’s Ark in a matter of decades, or at the most, centuries, rather than slow evolution and continental drift over millions of years. In biology and geology rapid processes rule.

For further information see the question: Animal Migration: How did animals populate the world after the flood? Answer here.

Evidence News vol. 19, No.1
30 January 2019
Creation Research Australia

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