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Iguanas that Grow Larger and Smaller

“Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.” Jeremiah 31:2

What do you do when food resources are scarcer than normal for an extended period of time? People not getting enough nutrition lose weight and eventually muscle mass. It would really make more sense to proportionately shrink your body size. After all, children require fewer calories than adults. It appears that this is just what marine iguanas and perhaps some other reptiles actually do.

Green iguanaResearchers studying the marine iguanas of the Galapagos Islands found that sometimes individuals appeared to get smaller. For 18 years they simply blamed measurement error. Then one of the scientists studied the 18 year record of measurements and realized that something was really happening. During an El Niño weather pattern, when the algal beds offered less food for the iguanas, individuals shrank in size. In addition, the largest males showed the greatest amount of shrinking. If connective tissue alone was shrinking, the iguanas would only shrink by ten percent. But large males were shrinking by as much as 20 percent during a two year long El Niño. This means that even their bones must shrink! More research showed that the more an individual shrank, the better its chance of survival.

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Iguanas need only concern themselves with survival in this life. As human beings, we need to be concerned about the next life as well. We can thank God that He has provided eternal life for us through Jesus Christ.

Lord, I will thank You forever for forgiveness and salvation. Amen.
“Famine reveals incredible shrinking iguanas,” Science News, 1/8/00, pp. 20 21. Photo: Green iguana. Courtesy of Bjørn Christian Tørrissen. (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

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Written by Creation Moments

In a world bombarded by false messages about origins, Creation Moments provides accurate, up-to-date information about new discoveries in God's creation and how they relate to the Bible. The two minute "Creation Moments" Christian radio broadcast with host Paul Taylor is heard around the world on over 1,300 stations. Copyright 2014 by Creation Moments, Inc., P.O.Box 839, Foley, MN, 56329.

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