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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2009

The Magnificent Mallee Fowl

How do you find out exactly how hot or cold it is outside? Do you take a deep breath? Do you put your finger high in the air? Or do you put your nose to the ground? Of course not. When you want to know the exact temperature you simply check a thermometer. But how amazing would it be to identify the exact temperature simply by putting your nose to the ground? One animal that lives in Australia can do exactly that.

The mallee fowl is a chicken-sized bird that lives in the mallee forests of southern Australia. (Mallee is a type of low-growing, woody plant.) Before mallee fowl hens lay their eggs, the male spends several weeks or months preparing a special mound in which the eggs will incubate. The male first digs a hole about three feet deep and 10-15 feet in diameter. Next, the male begins to construct the mound over the hole using leaves, twigs, dirt, and sand. Eventually the mound will reach a height of about five feet.

The hen then lays anywhere from 20-35 eggs in a dug-out section of the mound (over a period of several weeks). The male keeps a close watch over the eggs and mound, ensuring that everything stays very near 92°F. How does he do this? He simply sticks his beak and tongue into the mound. The bird can tell if the temperature is too high or too low. The mallee might scrape some of the mound away to cool the eggs, or it might build up the mound even more in order to raise the temperature.

The thermometer was developed and designed by highly intelligent men over several centuries. But what about the mallee fowl’s built-in thermometer? Who designed it? And how is the mallee fowl able to construct a massive nest and then manage it so capably? Evolutionists would have us believe that time and chance gave the mallee fowl all of these abilities. Common sense, however, demands a better explanation: Complex design demands a designer. The mallee fowl was designed by God.

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