Daily Devotional – March 25
Today, there is great concern over football players receiving concussions. Have you thought about the woodpecker banging its head against a tree trunk? Why doesn’t a woodpecker get a concussion or brain damage? On average, he bangs his head 12,000 times a day, each time reaching speeds of 13-15 mph. As he pecks, his beak stops abruptly when it hits the wood. The deceleration force has been measured to be 1,200 times the acceleration of gravity (1200 g). Decelerating one’s heads at just 300 g would leave a person with serious brain injury or a concussion. Through slow motion footage, x-ray images, tomography, and CT scans, scientists discovered four features that enable the woodpecker to sustain this type of head-banging existence:
- The beak is made of an elastic material.2. The woodpecker’s hyoid bone is different than a human’s. It loops around the entire skull, acting like a seat belt. In a human, this
- bone sits just above the “Adam’s apple”.
- The spongy bone behind the beak and at different places in the skull act as shock absorbers.
- A special skull bone contains spinal fluid.
Researchers emphatically claim that all four of these features have to be present at the same time in order for the woodpecker not to destroy his brain. Evolution says that these four features would have come about by accident and chance over millions of years. If this is true, would we have woodpeckers? All four special design features needed to be present from the beginning in order for the impact force to be spread throughout the skull.
One last amazing fact - every time the woodpecker hits a tree, his eyes close simultaneously – otherwise his eyeballs would pop out of his skull! Of course, learning to close his eyes simultaneously with hitting his head against the tree also needed to work the first time, or we would have lots of blind woodpeckers. God is an amazing designer of woodpeckers!
For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
~ Psalm 86:10
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett
References for this devotional.