Marks of Divine Wisdom BSD 
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» Flying on Instruments
» Outboard Motor
» The Amazing Cell
» Nature's Game
» Horrendous Complexity
» The Humble Eyelid
» the Chessmaster
» the Origin of Life
» Search for Alien Life
» Elephant in the Room
» Greetings from The Cosmos
» The Atom
» Center of the Universe
» the Light is Good
» the Mask of Nature
» Divine wisdom vs Human Wisdom
» the Nature of Reality
» Mysterious World of PLants
» Almost a Miracle
» The Bite of Rationalism
» The March of Science
» Afterword
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<<Previous: Amazing Creatures

** More Amazing Creatures **
Mantis Shrimp pretty much everything about the Mantis Shrimp is unbelievable. They are crustaceans with two boxing glove like clubs which can deliver a killer blow accelerating as fast as a 22-caliber bullet (100,000M/s2). Because they strike so rapidly, they generate cavitation bubbles between the club and the striking surface. The collapse of these cavitation bubbles produces measurable forces on their prey in addition to the instantaneous forces of 1,500 newtons that are caused by the impact of the club against the striking surface, which means that the prey is hit twice by a single strike; first by the club and then by the collapsing cavitation bubbles that immediately follow. Even if the initial strike misses the prey, the resulting shock wave can be enough to stun or kill the prey. To provide superfast hand/eye coordination, it has the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom, with 12 different color receptors for light analysis and sixnocular vision for unsurpassed depth perception. They can detect UV, visible and polarized light. They are also the only animals known to detect circularly polarized light, which is when the wave component of light spirals in a circular motion. Special visual signal processing, is performed in the eye instead of the brain for greater speed, and the visual information leaving the retina is processed into numerous parallel data streams leading into the central nervous system. Its eye plates outperform all current man-made polarizing optic design[1]. This has inspired research into a new type of optical media that would outperform the current generation of Blu-ray disc technology.
The mantis shrimp's limbs are extremely resilient, their "fists" can withstand thousands of super-strikes without breaking. They have inspired a new carbon-fiber composite material that is stronger and more durable than what is now used by the commercial aircraft industry. Researchers created an architecture of carbon fibers to mimic the claw's shock-absorbing interior and then used impact testing to judge its toughness vs. other composites. In the end, the mantis shrimp's design reigned supreme [2], with less denting and greater residual strength after impact. These ceramics are forged at 1,500 degrees Celsius; the mantis shrimp outclasses them all with a body part that's grown at room temperature. see it here

Lyrebirds are the greatest audio mimics in the world. Besides copying the songs of other birds, they can copy the sounds of car alarms, construction equipment, gunshots, dogs barking, camera shutters, chainsaws, musical instruments and even people. They have the most advanced set of vocal cords in the world, made all the more impressive by the fact that it has no lips to help it shape the sound. The lyrebird does it all with its throat. They also have an amazing memory for recording and storing these sounds. For example, in 1969 a lyrebird song was recorded and sent to a scholar named Norman Robinson. After filtering it, he figured out to his surprise that this bird was singing two popular tunes from the 1930s ... at the same time[3]. see it here

Box Jellyfish have up to 60 tentacles reaching seven feet in length. Every inch of those tentacles has over two million stinging cells full of venom. Within each of the stinger cells is a harpoon style weapon designed to deliver the maximum venom on contact. When the trigger (nematocyst) is fired the harpoon is discharged in less than 700 nanoseconds with an acceleration of up to 5.4 million times the force of gravity. This kind of acceleration is hard for us to imagine. It is about 500 times the acceleration of a 22-caliber bullet. The discharged harpoon strikes its target with enough kinetic energy to pierce the tough armor of exoskeleton. Once the armor is breached, a long, coiled tubule everts from the nematocyst capsule through the stylet and into the victim. Further contraction of the capsule forces neurotoxins through the tubule, paralyzing and often killing the victim.

Deep sea copepods are little bioluminescent crustaceans which can blink on and off like a flashing light. More amazingly, they can also fire time-delayed chemical 'light bombs' to throw off predators that try to zero in on their flashes. see it here

The Sea Cucumber when attacked literally spills out its guts, then later regenerates all of its vomited body parts. Another remarkable feature of this animal which no other creature possesses is the special collagen fiber that forms its body wall. This can be loosened and tightened at will, and if the animal wants to squeeze through a crack or small crevice, it can essentially liquefy its body and pour into the space. see it here

The Kamikaze Ant is packed with poisonous sacks from its head all the way down its back. When a predator to the colony appears, the ant will contract its muscles to build up the poison. Then, similar to a pressure cooker, it explodes, spraying the toxins on the threat. The predator can die from the poison, or if it's large enough to survive, it will think twice before approaching another ant in the area.

The Woodpecker has an industrial strength beak with special shock absorbers. His skull is the thickest bone per body weight of any creature. His 10 inch tongue has barbs to stab prey and special glue to stick to the bug. After retracting its prey in its mouth special solvents dissolve the glue so that he doesn't swallow his tongue with the prey. see it here

Naked Mole Rats are extraordinary rodents which spend most of their lives underground, digging in poorly ventilated tunnels. Their ability to conduct intensive aerobic work under low oxygen pressures is remarkable, as is their lifespan of 20 years or more, which despite its length is not associated with spontaneously arising tumors. They also have an unmatched resistance to cancer sparking intensive scientific research. While laboratory mice and rats develop multiple skin cancers in response to applied carcinogens, the skin lesions produced by this treatment in blind mole rats heal without tumors being formed. Studies applying DNA damaging compounds have shown that NMR cells have extraordinarily efficient DNA repair mechanisms. The NMR also have superhard teeth which can chew threw solid concrete and 25% of their muscles concentrated in their jaws (this is like having all the muscles of one leg there). Their teeth can move independently like chopsticks and are outside their mouths, so the mole rats can shovel away without eating dirt. They are also the only known mammals that operate a hive system, in the way that ants do, with one queen who does all the breeding and a hierarchy of workers and warriors who have no children of their own. Thus they build underground cities with specialized subterranean chambers such as those dedicated to rearing offspring, storing food, or eliminating bodily waste - there are even major "highway systems" - complete with on-ramps and off-ramps - that allow for more than one animal to travel quickly over vast underground distances.

The Platypus possesses a brilliant type of internal radar. It shuts down all of its main senses as it dives for food, its bizarre duck bill takes on an amazing power all of its own - an electro-sensory power that picks up on tiny electric movements. It allows them to detect the weak electric fields generated by the bottom-dwelling invertebrates that are their principal prey. Thus, platypuses can hunt successfully even in very murky water. The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate hoax. see it here

Peregrine Falcons have been clocked at 242 mph (390 kmh) making them the fastest members of the animal kingdom. Diving toward prey, peregrines tuck their wings into their bodies, creating an aerodynamic teardrop shape. The air pressure from the high speed dive could explode a bird's lungs, but small bony tubercles on the falcon's nostrils guide the powerful airflow away from the nostrils, enabling the bird to breathe more easily while diving by reducing the change in air pressure. The design is so effective, it is now used in jet engines. To protect their eyes, the falcons use their nictitating membranes (third eyelids) to spread tears and clear debris. see it here

The Star Nosed mole has a unique and highly specialized sensory-motor organ shaped by 22 fleshy finger-like appendages that ring their nostrils. The extremely sensitive star like structure is wired with over 25,000 minute touch receptors known as Eimer's organs. It is so sensitive that the mole can detect a grain of salt buried in a pile of sand. What's more it has one of the fastest responses to stimulus in the animal kingdom, deciding in only 8ms whether something is edible or not. Vanderbilt University neuroscientist Kenneth Catania, who has studied star-nosed moles for 20 years called them "a gold mine for discoveries about brains and behavior in general-and an unending source of surprises"[4]. see it here

The Giant Palm Salamander of Central America captures fast-moving bugs with an explosive tongue thrust that releases over 18,000 watts of muscle power per kilogram, the highest of any known muscle. The strongest muscle in the human body (the quadriceps) can produce only about 100 watts of power. If your thighs could barely power a lightbulb, the palm salamander could power 18 lighthouses with gigantic 1000 Watt lightbulbs. Watch its almost invisible laser tongue. see it here

The Angler Fish sits camouflaged with a fishing rod and a lure which it skillfully waves around to catch prey. When its prey is near, its mouth expands to more than 12 times original size in less than 5 milliseconds (about 1/60th of an eye-blink). The low pressure region thus created sucks in water at great speed, as well as whatever unfortunate fish happens to be nearby. see the video with narrative by Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt'l here

The Starfish ejects its stomach from its mouth - placing it over the digestible parts of its prey, typically a mussel or clam. The stomach then partially digests what it can, producing a chowder-like slurry that is then drawn back into the starfishes' ten digestive glands. The Starfish have tube feet operated by a hydraulic system and a mouth at the centre of the oral or lower surface. They have two stomachs and no brain. see it here

Honey badgers are classified as the world's most fearless creatures. They are known to chase away lions and rhinos, attack king cobra snakes, bee hives, and just about anything else they feel like. Their secret is an incredibly cut-resistant skin which is so tough that it's been shown to be nearly impervious to arrows and spears, and can even take a full blow from a sharp machete. It's skin is also remarkably loose, allowing the badger to rotate inside it when grabbed to launch a counter-attack. The badgers also have a few other tricks up their sleeves such as the ability to eject a cloud of suffocating stench. They are also nearly immune to the venom of bees, scorpions and snakes and are incredibly clever, successfully outwitting human beings who underestimate them. Watch the badger defend itself against a group of lions. see it here

The American Opossum usually reacts to danger as many other mammals do; by hissing, growling and baring its teeth. It can also bite viciously if pushed too far. However, if this all fails and the situation becomes too dangerous, plan B is to feign death; the opossum collapses to the ground, drools as if it was very ill, and then remains motionless, with its mouth open and its teeth bared. It even produces a putrid, corpse-like smell that only adds to their act. The stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away without reaction. Opossums also emit a protein that can neutralize nearly all poisons that enter their body. see it here

The Pacific Golden Plover is a non-swimming bird which migrates thousands of miles from Alaska to Hawaii over the Pacific ocean. They use special formations to reduce aerodynamic drag to conserve energy for the herculean trip. see it here

Redwood Trees reach heights of over 110 meters (120 yards) pulling water against gravity and distributing nutrients throughout the tree, without the help of any mechanical pump. see it here

The Butterfly metamorphosises into a completely different creature. Its cells dissolve and their components are recycled and turned into a soup from which the adult structure is rebuilt. see it here

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