Some birds are very adept at using their feet to grasp, lift and manipulate objects. This ability to use the feet in a hand-like way is called ‘pedal dexterity.’ To find out how this ability came about researchers at University of Alberta have sifted through thousands of photos of birds using their feet to handle objects.
They identified 1054 species of birds and plotted their results into an evolutionary tree. Birds that show pedal dexterity fell into the two main groups – parrots and raptors. The scientists concluded the ability evolved in an ancestor of tree dwelling birds over 60 million years ago, and the ability has evolved “at least 20 times in different lines of that bird’s descendants.”
The research team claimed the ability came about when birds evolved to live in trees. As their wings had evolved into being fully equipped for flying, birds had to find another way to manipulate objects. According to Cristián Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, who led the study, “The idea is that evolution into the trees facilitated the evolution of foot use, because now you have this sort of machinery that allows you to do it.”
References: Science (AAAS) News 15 August 2023; Communications Biology 15 August 2023 doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-05151-z
Editorial Comment: This study is full of evolutionary non-explanations for the origin of pedal dexterity. They have not explained how being able to perch in trees gave some birds pedal dexterity. This is a fundamental flaw in evolutionary theory. Simply being in an appropriate environment will not change a bird to give it the coordinated muscle control needed to manipulate objects with one foot whilst balancing on the other foot, as seen in the cockatoo in the banner above.
Notice the first thing they did was put their data into an evolutionary tree, i.e. a belief system that all the birds they observed in this study are derived from a common ancestor. As no-one has seen one kind of bird, e.g. a raptor, evolve into another kind, e.g. a parrot, this is entirely a belief by faith. On the basis of this belief they had to come up with an explanation that fitted into the evolutionary tree, even though it meant believing this ability evolved over20 times – a good example of how evolutionists have far more faith than Bible believing Christians.
Creation Research News 21 September 2023
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