Birds That Can’t Fly – Creation Moments

Birds That Can’t Fly – Creation Moments

Genesis 1:21

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

There are quite a number of birds that cannot fly. This sometimes surprises us, but it shouldn’t. We tend to wonder how they “lost” the ability to fly, but, although there are some species that might possibly have lost an ability to fly (as losing such an ability usually involves loss of information, not spontaneous creation), there is no reason to suppose that many have lost an ability. After all, we do not wonder at mammals that fly (i.e., bats), and we accept that these were created on Day Five, whereas most mammals were made on Day Six. In the same way, most flightless birds seem to be perfectly designed the way that they are. Ratite birds, for example, have no keel on their sternum. The keel is what anchors muscles to the wings, to enable flight. But birds like ostriches, rheas, emus and kiwis show no evidence, either in extant species or in the fossil record, to suggest that they ever had a structure. Therefore, they have not evolved into such a state – they were designed like that by God because that is the best design for us.

Other birds are flightless for other reasons. Penguins, for example, do not fly, but they do sort-of fly through water! Again, this requires a particular type of design that could not arise by itself. God designed penguins just perfectly for their habitat and their lives.

Flightless birds do not support evolutionary ideas. God created them as He saw fit.

Prayer: Thank You Father, even for those creatures that seem so strange to us! But they are part of Your overall design, and they give witness to Your creative power. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: O’daniel, D. (2015), Flightless Birds—Alternate Flight Plan, < https://answersingenesis.org/birds/flightless-birds-alternate-plan/ >, accessed 1/30/2019. Image: CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic.

North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) by Derek©©

Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata) ©WikiC

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Memphis Zoo by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Memphis Zoo by Lee

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Lowry Pk Zoo

Emu ((Dromaius novaehollandiae) Zoo Tampa by Lee

Creation Moments

More When I Consider Articles

Good News Tracts

Martha and the Go-Kart Race

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Martha and the Go-Kart Race ~ by Emma Foster

There was once an enormous ostrich named Martha who was extremely tall with a really long neck. She lived at the zoo and every day people would come there to look at her and all the strange and exotic animals. Many people came to look at Martha every day.

One day a flyer that had been left on the ground by a boy who was passing them out was blown in by the wind into Martha’s exhibit. She glanced down at the flyer. In big bold letters it said: GO-KART RACE THIS SATURDAY! The flyer went on to explain the instructions and it said that all ages were admitted. Martha decided right then and there she would enter the race.

That night, Martha sneaked out of her exhibit by climbing over the fence and sneaked into the shed in the back of the zoo. Finding some wooden boards, a hammer and nails, and a few other things, Martha set to work and eventually constructed her go-kart by Saturday.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverfront Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverfront Zoo SC by Lee

On the day of the race, Martha pushed her go-kart up to the starting line. All of the kids stared at her as she tried to get into the go-kart. It was difficult because of her long legs, but Martha eventually managed to get settled.

A man from the sideline swung a flag signaling to start the race. Martha zoomed down the road and turned a corner. After a few more turns Martha and the others drove over a bridge and eventually down a steep hill.

Ostrich

Ostrich

Martha spotted the finish line. She was in the lead. In a few seconds Martha crossed the finish line and won first place. Now every time someone at the zoo passed by Martha’s exhibit, they would see her first place trophy and her go-kart. The people at the zoo would always say they had never seen a better racer and the zoo keepers never figured out how she escaped from her exhibit.

The End


Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by WikiC

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? (Job 39:13 KJV)

Well, our young writer has come up with another interesting Bird Tale. Emma continues to amaze me with her stories. Thanks, again, Emma. Keep up the good work. Lord Bless you as you continue to develop in wisdom and with the Lord.

See her other stories:

Also:

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Fair Fowl, Foul Fowl or Some of These Laws Are For The Birds!

Fair Fowl, Foul Fowl

Some of These Laws Are For The Birds!

Deuteronomy 14:12-20 by Francois Maurice

I love drawing birds, so illustrating this passage from Deuteronomy was a natural. I could have chosen the passage from Leviticus 11:13-19. They are identical. The same birds, in the same order with the same sentence structure. What are the odds? This got me scratching my head in quizzical puzzlement. (Wow, four z’s in two words! What are the odds?) Well, it turns out these two books were written by Moses. I didn’t know that then, but I do now! I knew that Moses spent forty days on Mt. Sinai talking to God. What I didn’t know was that, when he climbed down off that obscure, smoking, lightning-illuminated mountain; besides bringing us the Ten Commandments, he also brought the Oral Torah and six hundred thirteen specific and detailed laws meant for the people of Israel.  I want to delve briefly into these laws and to look at kosher laws, what they mean and how they apply to this illustration.

Known as the Mitzvot , these laws address all aspects of human life. There are three hundred sixty five negative and two hundred forty eight positive commandments. The negative ones are the ‘thou shalt nots…” and the positive ones are the ‘thou shalts…’

They are meant to preserve the sanctity of Jewish observance and the holiness of religious practices. They are also meant to encourage a serious perspective and importance to the business of living a meaningful and humble life.  A life that honors God and, as much as an individual is capable of adhering to the Mitzvot, keeps His commandments. This is the subjective part of the intent of Mitzvot . A couple of these laws are, for example, ‘ Know that God’ exists and ‘Do not put the word of God to the test’.

The objective intent of Mitzvot is based on the preservation, purification and health of the Jewish race. The commandments concerning dietary laws are a form of ancient health regulations! For example, the slaughtering of permitted animals is to be done rapidly, by cutting the throat of the animal with an extremely sharp knife with no serrations in the blade. This is considered the most humane way of dispatch. The goal of this type of slaughter is to get rid of as much blood as possible. Ingesting blood is forbidden. The animal is then hung to permit the evacuation of blood. It is then washed,  salted with kosher salt and cooked well. The USDA has determined that this ritual method of slaughter is so sanitary that kosher slaughterhouses are exempt from USDA regulations.

The Mizvot is divided into many categories i.e., Business practices, Clothing, Marriage, Divorce and Family, Treatment of Gentiles, Court and Judicial etc. There are many more but you get the idea.

Most of these worthy commandments have stood the test of time.  Consider the following ones, ‘Not to sell a Hebrew servant as a slave.,  ‘Not to pass a child through the fire to Molech’.,  (referring to child sacrifice),   ‘Not to wear garments made of wool and linen mixed together’.,  ‘To make a parapet for your roof’.?? And my favorite, ‘Not to put olive oil in the meal offering of a woman suspected of adultery’.!!! I presume it’s perfectly acceptable to drizzle olive oil on her matzos if you know she is an adulteress!?

Back to the birds. The forbidden birds in Deuteronomy 14:11-20 are either birds of prey or scavengers. As such, they are indiscriminate in their diet, hunt carrion and  cannibalize. They have sharp talons with strong feet for transporting their prey. Their beaks are sharp and hooked for tearing flesh.  God describes, to Ezekiel, a scene of Gog’s slain army.  Hordes of soldiers are scattered about on the mountains of Israel being devoured by (Ezekiel 39:4) “…the ravenous birds of every sort.” Quite a graphic scene made more dramatic by the presence of birds of prey.Bird of Prey by Francois Maurice

In Isaiah 46:11 God curiously refers to Cyrus the Great as a bird of prey “…a ravenous bird from the east”. It seems an incongruous reference to a man who is revered for his benevolence and justice. Cyrus tolerated and respected the culture and religion of the lands he conquered. Ah, you say! ‘Conquered’ implies blood and cruelty. Well, not in his case as when, in October of 539 BC, he annexed Babylonia without spilling a drop of blood. He then freed the Jews of whom 40,000 returned to their homeland. He then financed the rebuilding of the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. He doesn’t seem to exhibit the tendencies of birds of prey. Was God implying that Cyrus had the tenacity and single minded intent of a predatory raptor?

Ostrich by Francois Maurice

Ostrich by Francois Maurice

Ostriches are in for some harsh treatment in Job 39:13-18. In a chapter that praises the freedom of the wild ass, the strength of the bull, the fearlessness and strength of the war-horse, the eyesight and flight of the eagle, we see the ostrich laying her eggs out in the open soil.  She is unconcerned that passing beasts will trod on them. She hopes the sun is warm enough to sustain and nurture them. “She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear; because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath He imparted to her understanding.” The best that can be said about the ostrich in this passage is that they have wings and feathers to which I ask, “Why?” They can’t fly! Lamentations 4:3 equates the ostrich to a breast feeding sea monster! How weird is that? So- we have a strange looking, eight foot tall, three hundred pound bird who can’t fly but who can outrun a horse and kick a pursuer to death. It’s  eye is bigger that it’s brain, it makes great feather dusters and lives in a commune and hates its kids. God is humorous.

Doves are special in the Bible. They are used metaphorically to describe everything from the Spirit of God descending upon Jesus at His baptism (Mark 1:10), “And straightaway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him”, to the sorrowful murmurings of Queen Huzzab’s handmaidens. (Nahum 2:7), “And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.” This magnificent run-on sentence uses a word that poignantly transforms this scene. Used but a single time in the entire Bible, the word tabering, (to beat on a small drum, tabour), infuses the scene with the pathos of the handmaidens who beat their breasts and mourn the captivity of their beloved queen. Doves, who mate for life, are used here to underscore the loyalty shown by the hand maidens. Notice also, that the phrase “the voice of doves” effectively adds another dimension to this passage. Imagine the queen following the handmaidens as naturally as one’s head turns upon hearing the nearby cooing of a pair of doves.

Doves by Francois Maurice

Doves by Francois Maurice

Francois Maurice

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Lee’s Addition:

Francois is the author of It’s In The Bible! which was illustrations only. He is currently working of Volume Two. When asked to tell me more about himself so I could introduce him, here are parts of that information:

The article above is “one of 15 or so chapters. They are short-two to four pages- of commentary about a particular Bible passage passage. I illustrate it then analyze the theological message. My first book was It’s In The Bible!! and it was illustrations only. Volume two will have the same name since I own it. I also have ItsInTheBible.org and a Facebook page which is being developed to advertise my book. There will be some church related cartoons and some general commentaries on theological subjects along with study questions. Humor is included.”

“I am a committed Christian, on the vestry and many committees of St. John’s Episcopal in Chula Vista, CA.(Sad Diego area). I run a Bible study group there….I write and draw full time.”

“The article I sent you is not “typical” since it is “theme oriented” rather than Bible passage “in depth” study of what is going on in a particular scene. I am very curious and love to do research.”

“I am not an ornithologist however, so themes explored would be more “general” in nature. As you know there is a lot of bird influence throughout the Bible and a lot of material to be explored.”

I am looking forward to reading more articles from him and I trust you will also. Welcome, Francois.

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Birds of the Bible – The Common Ostrich

 

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Dan and I just recently were on vacation and stopped by the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, SC. I have see Ostriches before, but it has been awhile. We see the Emus at Lowry Park Zoo often, but they are not nearly as tall as the Ostrich. I had forgotten that the Lord had created such a huge bird.

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? For she leaves her eggs on the ground, And warms them in the dust; She forgets that a foot may crush them, Or that a wild beast may break them. She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; Her labor is in vain, without concern, Because God deprived her of wisdom, And did not endow her with understanding. When she lifts herself on high, She scorns the horse and its rider. (Job 39:13-18 NKJV)

The Ostrich does belong to the Struthionidae Family. Currently there are two; the Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) and the Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes). The one we saw was the Common. The Ostrich is the largest bird in the world! They are omnivorous flightless birds but make up for their inability to fly with the powerful legs they possess. These birds were built for speed. That is why the reference to the horse and rider. Ostriches can give a horse competition for at least a burst of speed.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot back at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

“Ostriches usually weigh from 140–320 lb (63 to 145 kilograms), Ostriches of the East African race (S. c. massaicus) averaged 250 lb (115 kg) in males and 220 lb (100 kg) in females, while the nominate subspecies was found to average 240 lb (111 kg) in unsexed adults. At sexual maturity (two to four years), male ostriches can be from 6 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in (2.1 to 2.8 m) in height, while female ostriches range from 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in (1.7 to 2 m) tall. New chicks are fawn with dark brown spots. During the first year of life, chicks grow about 10 in (25 cm) per month. At one year of age, ostriches weigh around 100 lb (45 kilograms). Their lifespan is up to 40 or 45 years.” (Wikipedia with editing)

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot front at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

I am not sure how tall these were, but they had to be close to 8 feet. As I was observing them, I was trying to remember all that the verses said about them. That is one reason I took pictures of their feet. I knew that their feet and legs helped  them run, but also that those same feet were a danger to their young ones. They do have big feet and with an interesting shape as you can see from the photos.

If you notice the size of their head to their body, maybe that is how the Lord “did not endow her with understanding.” The head is interesting though because they are one of the few birds that have eyelashes. They have acute eyesight and hearing, the long neck and legs keep their head up to 9 ft (2.8 m) above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate – 2.0 in (50 mm) in diameter; they can therefore perceive predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sun light falling from above. However, the head and bill are relatively small for the birds’ huge size”

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Head at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Head at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. (Psalms 96:1-4 NKJV)

Links:

Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

Bible Birds – Ostrich

Struthionidae – Ostriches

Ostrich – Creation Wiki

Ostrich – Wikipedia

Ostrich – The Largest Bird with the Biggest Eyes

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Birds of the Bible – Job 38 – 39

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Memphis Zoo by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Memphis Zoo by Lee

Dan and I have been reading through Job for our devotions. Today was Job 38 and 39. Wow! All of Job’s “friends” have been trying to persuade Job how wrong and unrighteous he is and Job has been trying to figure out why he is being punished, yet defending his righteousness.

Finally in Job 38, God speaks. Job has been asking to speak to God about his situation. (From the Today in the Word, Vol II, Day 28) “So, when Job finally gets the audience with the Lord that he requested, he is not the one asking the questions!  Instead, like a prosecuting attorney, the Lord fires off the questions and informs Job ‘You will answer me’ (38:3). God challenges Job’s insinuation that He wasn’t administering justice fairly. This interrogation covers Job 38 and 39, but it could be paraphrased in this one penetrating question: ‘Were you present at creation?’ ”

If you haven’t read Job lately and especially Chapter 38 and 39, it worth reading.

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Anyway, within those two chapters, God mentions the Raven and the Ostrich.

Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food? (Job 38:39-41 ESV)

Then in the next chapter God tells about the Ostrich that He created:

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them. She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding. When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider. (Job 39:13-18 ESV)

Both of these birds have been covered in other Birds of the Bible articles, but just wanted to share them with you again. We know that God provides for the birds and He has promised to provide for His own, Christians. He also, makes birds different, at His will. Who are we to question His knowledge and wisdom. The same is true with us who know the Lord. He gives each of us different talents and abilities. We are not to question why He made us thus.

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Ravens

Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

The Gospel Message

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Birds of the Bible – Ostrich II

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Memphis Zoo by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Memphis Zoo by Lee

Even a mother wolf will nurse her cubs, but my people are like ostriches, cruel to their young. (Lamentations 4:3 GNB)
Even jackals nurse their young, but my people are like ostriches that abandon their own. (Lamentations 4:3 CEV)

The two versions of Lamentations 4:3 are interesting. In Birds of the Bible – Ostrich, the facts about the Ostriches behavior toward their young were mentioned. Her lack of interest in raising her young by putting them in a communal nest, her “big feet”, and her lack of knowledge.

This verse in Lamentations 4, again mentions how the ostriches are cruel to their young. This time the context is referring to the punishment of Israel and how they have gone from having much and now suffering with little or nothing. Verse 2 says,

These are Zion’s people, worth more than purest gold; yet they are counted worthless like dishes of clay.

May we serve the Lord with a clean heart and keep a “short list” of things that need to be confessed. May we never get so far away from the Lord that we have to have judgment come into our lives to “wake us up.”

Luckily, those of us who know the Lord as our personal Saviour, know:

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) by P Kwong

Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) by P Kwong

The Ostrich, Struthio camelus, is actually an interesting bird that is flightless and native to Africa. It is the only living species of its family, Struthionidae and its genus, Struthio. Ostriches share the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, and other ratites. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 45 mph, the top land speed of any bird. The Ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand laid larger eggs).

Ostriches usually weigh from 63 to 130 kilograms (140–290 lb), with exceptional male Ostriches weighing up to 155 kilograms (340 lb). The feathers of adult males are mostly black, with white primaries and a white tail. However, the tail of one subspecies is buff. Females and young males are greyish-brown and white. The head and neck of both male and female Ostriches is nearly bare, with a thin layer of down.[4][6] The skin of the females neck and thighs is pinkish gray, while the male’s is blue-gray, gray or pink dependent on subspecies.
Claws on the wings

The long neck and legs keep their head 6 to 9 ft above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate – 50 millimetres (2.0 in) in diameter; they can therefore perceive predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sun light falling from above.

Emu Foot Lowry Pk Zoo

Emu Foot Lowry Pk Zoo

At sexual maturity (two to four years), male Ostriches can be from 5 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in in height, while female Ostriches range from 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in. During the first year of life, chicks grow 10 in per month. At one year of age, Ostriches weigh around 100 lb. Their lifespan is up to 40–45 years.

Yesterday, Dan and I were at the Lowry Park Zoo and were watching the Emu pair they have there. Took pictures of their feet and though smaller than the Ostrich, they have “big feet” also.

See Also:

Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

Ostrich

Struthionidae – Ostriches

Struthioniformes – Ostriches

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Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

Most people are familiar with the Ostrich, but let’s find out some details about them. The Bible verses that refer to them, caused me to want to find out about them. For instance, in Job 39:13-18 KJV
(13)Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
Here the wings of an ostrich are mentioned, but they are very small. Huh! It seems that those little wings help with balance when running, are used for mating rituals, to scare off predators, to control their temperature, and they help shelter the young (when they stick around). “The feathers were very popular for ornamentation in fashionable clothing (such as hats during the 19th century).” “The original South African ostrich feather dusters were invented in Johannesburg, South Africa by missionary, broom factory manager, Harry S. Beckner in 1903.”, Wikipedia
(14) Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,

The nest is made by the male who digs an indentation 12-24 inches deep and all his females lay the eggs in the communal nest (up to 60 eggs). The females share sitting on them in the daytime and the male sits at night. Females are a light color whereas the male has a black coloring. Creation at work.

(15) And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
They seem to desert the nest alot and then when they are there their foot can cause damage to the eggs. By the way, the eggs are the largest of the living birds and weigh as much as 2 dozen eggs (3 lbs).
(16) She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labor is in vain without fear; (17) Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
Because not all the chicks in the nest are hers, she doesn’t seem too concerned even about her own. Maybe the Lord has spared her from fret by making her not too smart.
(18 ) What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
This was interesting in that ostriches have been clocked at 55 mph. They can run that fast in a spurt, but can maintain speeds of 30 mph which out lasts a horse. They stand up to 8 feet tall.
The Ostrich can also be found in Lam_4:3; Isa_13:21; Isa_34:13; and Isa_43:20.
For further reading see:

Wikipedia
Dr Joe Temple – Ostrich

An interesting Our Daily Bread – Burying Our Heads
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