"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee…"
Bee-eaters are birds whose way of life and behavior are both intelligent and unusual. There are 24 species of bee-eaters.
Bee-eaters make their living catching and eating bees and wasps with stingers. The poison in many of these stinging insects is powerful enough to kill bee-eaters, but the birds are not only skilled at avoiding stings, they know how to remove the poison from the bee when they eat it. Having captured a bee or wasp, a bee-eater will take it to a branch where he will pound its head and rub its stinging end until all of the poison has been removed from the insect's venom sac. Once the poison is removed, the bee-eater enjoys lunch.
Bee-eaters are described as lively and sociable. You seldom see one roosting all by itself. And when the weather is cool, bee-eaters huddle together to keep each other warm. There are even reports that bee-eaters will roost on each other's backs, forming a feathered pyramid made out of birds.
Now, it's possible that bee-eaters figured out that they were warmer when huddled together, although even that much intelligence had to come from their Creator. But how could bee-eaters simply "discover" how to detoxify bees? If this ability evolved by trial and error, there would probably be no descendants of the first bee-eaters around today. Obviously, this dangerous behavior would not favor survival. This makes the bee-eater one of God's own arguments against evolution!
Notes: Clanbake. Natural History, Mar. 1990. p. 94.
Photo: A male Blue-throated Bee-eater presents his mate with a captured insect. Photo taken by Lip Kee Yap and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
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