Snakes adapted fangs to food, according to articles in The Conversation 13 May 2021 and Monash University Lens 21 May 2021 and Evolution 27 April 2021 doi: 10.1111/evo.14239.
Scientists at Monash University, Australia, have studied the fangs of 81 species of snakes, comparing tooth structure, strength and sharpness with the type of prey each snake ate. Snakes that preyed on small, soft skinned mammals whose skin was easily pierced for venom injection had long slender sharp fangs, whereas those with short robust blunt fangs went for crabs and scaly reptiles. Between these two extremes were snakes with fangs of medium thickness and sharpness which tended to be more generalised in their diet, eating small mammals, lizards or fish.
The research team noted “the fangs of distantly related species with the same diet are more similar than those of closely related species with different diets”, which they claimed was “evolutionary convergence”.
They concluded: “Establishing the relationship between fang morphology and diet helps to explain how snakes became adapted to different lifestyles, while also providing a proxy to infer diet in lesser-known species or extinct snakes from the fossil record”.
Their journal article is entitled “Fang evolution in venomous snakes: Adaptation of 3D tooth shape to the biomechanical properties of their prey”.
Links: Conversation, Monash
Editorial Comment: Adaptation is taught in most textbooks as the random result of a creature evolving new structures in order to survive change in the environment. Adaptation is not the result of evolution at all, since all observed ‘adaptations’ provably involve an inbuilt ability to respond to changes in the environment, and all such changes are provably limited to small adjustments of already existing structures. You can be dogmatic that if an ability to change is not there, then the creature will not cope, and it will die out.
Consider the snakes in the study described above. A snake with thin sharp teeth that tries to crunch crabs will only break its teeth. Likewise, a blunt-toothed snake that tries to pierce the skin of a mouse will fail, and the mouse will get away before being injected with venom. Either way the snakes go hungry and die out, and become examples of non-survival of the non-fittest in the evolutionary struggle for life. Snakes certainly will not evolve different shaped teeth, since the reality is no creature can change the structure of its teeth simply because it finds itself in an environment where the food is not suited to its ‘dentures’.
What the snake study really found is that snakes eat whatever their pre-existing teeth enable them to eat. Sadly, this report is yet another classic misuse of the terms adapt and adaptation by evolutionists.
These observations of snake teeth can only tell us how a snake eats its food in the present. In order to know how snakes got the teeth they have now you need to know the real history of snakes. The God who was there tells us in Genesis that He made all animals, including snakes, according to their kinds. Its only arrogant evolutionist imagination to claim they all started with the same teeth.
There is no problem with different kinds of snakes having had different teeth, yet all being fully formed and functioning. What did they eat in the beginning? It wasn’t mice, lizards or crabs, because in the original, very good world all animals ate plants and there was no death. It was only after Noah’s Flood that mankind was given permission to eat meat, and many animals are recorded as doing the same. In that rapidly degenerating environment after the flood, animals used whatever teeth they already had to eat whatever they could manage to catch and grab hold of. Therefore, front fanged snakes with long sharp teeth ate small mammals, and rear fanged snakes with thick blunt teeth helped themselves to crabs.
In case you are wondering, if today’s snakes could go back to plant eating, the answer is probably not. For an animal to eat and digest plants it needs the right digestive enzymes and associated gut microbiome to break down plant foods and make the nutrients available. Snakes seem to have lost these in the millennia that the world has been going downhill since the sin, death and judgement came into the world and spoiled the original, very good world. This is change but it is not evolution.
SO, if you want something heavy to ponder, then acknowledge that all such built-in abilities tell us of a God who planned for life past the fall of man.
Creation Research News 26 May 2021
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