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Discovery Magazine 6/1/1990


Hide and Seek

Did you know that God created this Earth so that there is a balance in nature? Some animals must eat other animals, or insects, in order to live. But it would be a poorly planned world if the stronger creatures were always able to find and destroy the weaker ones. Since some creatures do not have strong fighting ability (like the wolf with sharp teeth, or the deer with antlers), the Lord provided weaker beings with other kinds of protection.

For example, you have seen the monarch butterfly, the most famous and most common butterfly in America. The monarch is a big, brightly colored, orange-red butterfly with black markings and white spots. Since birds like to eat butterflies, how is the monarch protected? The monarch lays its eggs on milkweed. When its offspring (called larvae) develop, they eat the milkweed which has a bitter taste (sometimes it is even poisonous). In turn, this gives the butterfly a very bad taste and so birds have learned to leave this creature alone.

Do you ever play "hide and seek?" It is fun to hide from a friend and maybe camouflage yourself in the bushes. The word "camouflage" means to look like those things that surround you. God gave many of his creatures "camouflage" so that they are able to skillfully hide themselves from animals that would eat them. There are different kinds of camouflage in nature. Some creatures were made to look like grass or branches. One example of this is the little insect called a "walking stick." You can hardly see Mr. Walking Stick on a tree because he looks just like a small, brown twig.

Other insects have been designed by God to take on a scary appearance so as to frighten away their enemies. Look at the picture of the Io moth and see what a frightening face it seems to have. This interesting pattern on the moth's wings is part of God's design to protect this beautiful creature.

How can anyone study the amazing and beautiful creatures of nature and not know there is a God who made these things?



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