1 John 4:19
"We love Him, because he first loved us."
We've all been taught that fish are cold-blooded. In many people's thinking, perhaps the most cold-blooded of all is the shark. However, scientists have discovered that four types of sharks can raise their internal body temperatures. Why and how they do this offers a powerful witness to the love and provision of the Creator.
There is good reason for sharks to be hungry nearly all the time. They seldom catch a large tuna or other creature to meet their needs. For this reason, a shark can live for weeks on the fat reserves stored in its liver. Amazingly, the shark's liver can account for up to 20 percent of its body weight. So, when feeding is good, the faster a shark can digest, the more food it can store for lean times.
The shark increases its body temperature to speed digestion. When food is plentiful, a great white shark can increase its body temperature above that of the surrounding water by over 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Normally, the heat generated by the shark's muscles is lost mainly through the gills. However, when the heat is needed to speed digestion, a complex radiator called a "miraculous web" moves into action. The "miraculous web" transfers the heat from the blood going to the gills to the blood coming from the gills. As a result, the shark can more efficiently digest and store food.
The shark seems unlovable to us. However, its Creator lovingly designed special features such as the "miraculous web" into the shark because He loves the creatures He made. Most of all, He loved us and sent His Son to die for our salvation when we were unlovable.
Notes: "The Fire in the Belly of the Beast." Discover, Feb. 1988, p. 8.
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