Most insects are so small that they usually go about their business unnoticed. Many of them could easily crawl through the eye of a needle. One hundred fairy flies could fit end to end in the space of one inch.
Since insects tend to scare people (usually those of adult age) we take notice of the larger ones and, human nature being what it is, the ones that stand out exceptionally-the really gigantic insects-really get our attention.
Compared to other animals (beasts) the largest insects (minibeasts) are not very big, but we shall consider the largest of the little creatures.
The original creation (even once upon a time millions of years ago in the minds of evolutionist believers) was a lush garden from pole to pole. Fossil evidence reveals that there were some mighty large plants and animals that lived in that tropical garden.
We don’t have to look at fossils to get an idea of how large plants can get. Just look at the mighty redwood trees that are alive today. Also, I did an Internet search for “large plants” and found the following documented modern plants (Usually grown for contests and often featured at Home and Garden TV).
>1,388 pound pumpkin that had to be moved with a forklift
>Dahlia flower (average size 1 ft.) that grew to eight feet
>100 year old plant with 30 ft. stem (NY Botanical Garden)
>Lilly pads with a diameter of 5 ft.
>5 ft long celery weighing over 52 pounds
>252 pound melon
>Cabbage weighing 89 pounds
>25 pound turnip
>Broccoli at 35 pounds
(What a salad we could make with those veggies!)
In addition to those specific plants, think about the rain forests (jungles in my politically incorrect childhood) and you can better understand God’s purpose in creating the insects. Without insects, not only would many plants not reproduce, but insects also help keep them in check and dispose of the dead plant debris.
In Genesis 6:4 we are told that “there were giants in the earth in those days”. If plants and other animals also grew larger (than is common today) at an earlier period of history-insects certainly could–and we have evidence that some of them did.
The largest insect fossil is that of a dragonfly with a wingspan of about 30 inches and was about 17 inches long (see addenda). You would not want that one to smash into your car window!
Besides this large little creature, I know of only one other verifiable large insect from the early period of creation and that is a 3.5 inch roach. (See Addendum 4.) In different science based articles I read of mayflies the size of a bird (swallow or canary), but I have been unable to locate any proof of that claim. I would love to see more fossils of large insects for such discoveries certainly would not provide any support for evolutionism. See Addendum #11.
Now, let’s consider modern large little creatures all of which live in the rain forests. The largest dragonfly now has a wingspan of 7.5 inches. There are moths with approximately 12 inch wing spans. A stick insect can reach 16 inches in length.. The longest beetle I could verify via the Internet is the Titan beetle (Titanus giganteus) with a length of 6.57 inches. The Goliath beetle (Goliathus giganteus) can be as large as a man’s fist and weigh in at nearly a quarter pound. Compare that to your next fast food hamburger!
Why can’t insects grow as large as small dogs?
The reason is their design.
For one thing, with the skeleton on the outside (exoskeleton) the legs would not be able to support the increased weight.
Also, if insects grew very much larger they would be unable to breathe. Insects do not have lungs. They breathe through holes (spiracles) in their sides which lead to tubes (trachea) which deliver oxygen throughout the insect’s body. These tubes would have to grow larger until they would take up too much space. Also, although the insect breathing mechanism is not totally passive, the oxygen could not be adequately distributed.
How did the ancient dragonfly get so large?
For one thing, the body is slender, but no one is certain why any creatures grew to become giants. One scientist thinks the larger ones were just the upper reaches of a very diverse population. This idea supports the creation concept of an engineered organism capable of a wide range of diversity.
Many scientific papers have been written about the likelihood of a greater proportion of oxygen in the ancient atmosphere. Currently there is about 21% atmospheric oxygen. There is evidence to suggest that during the time of the large dragonfly the percent was about 35%. Richer oxygen content could have aided in enough oxygen reaching the ends of larger tracheal tubes. Or, some suggest the richer oxygen could have increased and enhanced the molting (shedding of the exoskeleton during growth) process. As always, if this research is correct, other than the mistaken time of several million years ago, the oxygen rich air would fit perfectly into a model of a pristine creation.
There are other ideas about what the early earth was like thousands (not millions) of years ago. One is that the air pressure had a major impact. Another is that there was a “Vapor Canopy” surrounding the globe. Alone, or in combination with other ideas, is the possibility that there were not sufficient predators to keep the individuals from reaching maximum size.
What happened to the large insects?
Besides the decrease in oxygen, there are various ideas of what happened to the giants. These speculations (with various degrees of scientific support) include various catastrophes, extinction from being hunted, or being killed off as nuisances.
By far, most insects, since the original creation, have always been about the same size they are today.
Insects, tiny or “giant,” still bug evolutionism.
(1) An insect with “giant” as part of its common name is the Giant Weta (Deinacrida heteranacantha) of New Zealand. Some species occur elsewhere in the world. They are cricket-like (Some may see a grasshopper resemblance.) The harmless (unless attacked) Giant Weta is about the size of a mouse (3.5 in. not including antennae and extended legs and a pregnant female tipped the scale at about 2.5 oz.).
Some weta species are quite small. One Giant Weta species has females with a body length of a little over 1.5 inches and a weight of about 1/3 ounce. The males are slightly smaller.
According to the giant imaginations of evolutionists, wetas have been “virtually unchanged” for about 200 million years.
Also see “What I Learned from an Ugly Bug” (http://www.insectman.us/articles/misc-design/other/learned-ugly-bug.htm).
(2) I contacted beetle expert Dr. Brett Ratcliffe (curator of the University of Nebraska St. Museum and professor of entomology) who is credited with identifying the largest (50mm) fossil scarab beetle and requested help in determining what other large insects have been found besides the aforementioned roach and dragonfly.
Likewise, I contacted Dr. Roy Beckmeyer (Museum Associate at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum and a paleontologist) who is arguably the leading expert on fossil dragonflies. I particularly wanted help in clearing up discrepancies from Internet sources that list the largest dragonfly (Meganeuropsis permiana) at 28.346 inches on one site and 25.984 inches at another.
Dr. Ratcliffe did not respond to my email. Dr. Beckmeyer replied that he was busy after a trip and would get back to me. He did not respond to a polite reminded two months later.
Makes me wonder if they Googled my name and decided a courteous answer, in the interest of pure science, would not be forth-coming to a creationist.
(3) A photo (below) showing Werner Kraus, geological and paleontological preparator at Aachen University, with a life-size model of Meganeuropsis permiana that he prepared while working with Dr. Carsten Brauckmann, a specialist in Protodonata at the Technische Universitaet Clausthal in Germany.
(4) An Australian burrowing cockroach “can reach 30 to 35g and more than 85mm in length”. (About 3.3 inches-Karl)
“There are no cat-sized cockroaches in the fossil record. That makes it hard to understand the link between oxygen and insect size.” A 2010 study of insects raised in 40 percent oxygen revealed that roaches actually shrink their breathing organs. The evo-whacko guess as to why this happened is that “roaches take advantage of the extra oxygen by shrinking their breathing organs and redirecting their energy to other vital tissues…. By easing off the growth of tracheal tubes, the roaches may be able to earmark energy for other tissues involved with processes such as digestion and reproduction.”
(See the addendum to “Creationist Exaggerations-Squash the Roach”.)
(5) A 2011 research report (“Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth”-National Geographic-August 8) related results from a study of the larval stage of stoneflies. The idea is that since too much oxygen is harmful (based upon research that indicates the earth’s atmosphere once had 31-35 percent more oxygen) that larvae had to grow larger to survive. Insect larvae absorb oxygen and have little (if any) control over the intake. Therefore larger larvae could better handle the higher levels of oxygen. Looking at this from a biblical perspective it is a matter of pre and post Flood speculations about earth’s atmosphere. Creation scientists observe the vast variety possible within each created kind so a wide range in size (like coloration and other physical attributes) is easily explicable based upon known facts about DNA. As Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo states in Biology for the 21st Century, “Each life form exhibits genetic reserves for dynamic survival in fixed, manifested, and latent overlapping niches in a biosphere of vast variation. The vast variation and the latent unmanifested individual and population dynamic genetic reserves are proof positive of mega-engineering that evolution could never provide.”
A fossil flea was found (2-29-12) of a species measuring between 8 and 21 millimetres. Fleas today measure from 1 to 10 millimetres in length.
(7) In 2011 an unidentified wasp was found in the collection of the Natural History Museum, Berlin. Males of this wasp species measure 2.5 inches long, or about the same size as a human ring finger in length. that is It is five times bigger than most other wasps.
(8) A water scorpion estimated to have been 5.2 feet long and 3.2 feet wide left a fossilized track that was found in 2005.
9. An excellent example of an evolutionist “Just So Story” is their tale of giant insects taking a dive “as dinosaurs evolved flight and eventually took to the skies as birds, they beat down the huge insects already living there, effectively putting a cap on insect size through predation and competition in the prehistoric skies…” To be fair, the evolutionists correlated this with the change in atmospheric oxygen, yet the article states that why giant insects ceased to exist “has remained a mystery, until now (2004).” It is not complicated. Predation likely had an effect, but it was from already designed creatures-not evolving dinos. Also, after the worldwide flood the atmosphere changed.
(10) It is unknown why only a minority of insects became “giants”. An insect physiologist states, “(M)aybe 10 percent were big enough to be considered giant.”
http://www.livescience.com/1083-oxygen-giant-bugs.html See #4.
(11) Other unsubstantiated claims of giant insects.
Millions of years ago, oversized insects like griffinflies boasting wingspans comparable to today’s hawks scuttled across (and fluttered above) the planet.
Almost 50 million years ago, ants the size of hummingbirds roamed what is now Wyoming, a new fossil discovery reveals
(12) Fossils of non-insect arthropods:
Eight feet long (based upon a claw) sea scorpion (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2007-11-20-biggest-bug_N.htm)
Two feet long trilobite (http://animal.discovery.com/prehistoric/trilobites/)
Six plus feet long millipede (http://www.devoniantimes.org/who/pages/milliped.html)
(13) A bush cricket fossil (Archaboilus musicus) is about 12cm long, with a wing size of 7.5cm.
The Great Green Bush-cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) is one of the largest living, but grows only to 28-35mm
(14) There is a photo found on the Internet, supposedly taken in 1937, showing a man holding a rifle in one hand and a giant grasshopper in the other. It is fake.
(15) Also see:
Insect Inspiration Solves Giant Bug Mystery
Some Bugs Do Grow Bigger With Higher Oxygen
Giant Bugs: Why They Once Roamed the Earth