Interesting Things – Why Birds Don’t Wear Socks

One of my favorite articles from Creation Moments has been about why birds don’t wear socks. Now they have produced a YouTube about it and it is copied here. I was just getting ready to do some more research on it when I found this. Let’s see what can be found out.

There is an interest Pod Cast about Why Birds Stand on One Leg from

Apparently the “Wonder Net” is actually called the “rete mirabile” which is Latin for “wonderful net.” It is a complex of arteries and veins that are close to each other. It uses a “countercurrent blood flow within the net (blood flowing in opposite directions.) It exchanges heat, ions, or gases between vessel walls so that the two bloodstreams within the rete maintain a gradient with respect to temperature, or concentration of gases or solutes.” (“Rete mirabile”, from Wikipedia)

In birds with webbed feet, a rete mirabile in the legs and feet transfers heat from the outgoing (hot) blood in the arteries to the incoming (cold) blood in the veins, with the net effect that the internal temperature of the feet is much closer to the ambient temperature, thus reducing heat loss. In this example the rete mirabile functions as a biological heat exchanger. A similar structure is seen in other vertebrate extremities, including the neck of the dog, in order to protect the brain when the body overheats; fishes such as tuna, whose core temperature is higher than that of the cold deep waters they inhabit; and penguins who have them in the feet, flippers and nasal passages, to limit body heat lost to the cold environments in which they live. In giraffes, a rete mirabile in the neck equalizes blood pressure when the animal bends down to drink.

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17 NKJV)

See Also: The Amazing Giraffe