In waging millions of years of battle, both moths and their predators, bats, have adapted certain evolutionary tactics to give their species the upper hand. Bats have a "stealth mode" of hunting, and some use clicks that are out of the frequency of moths' hearing ranges to locate prey. Some kinds of moths, though, have one-upped them with a battle tactic that's way cooler: defensive sonic genital blasts.
Researchers from Boise State University and the University of Florida studied how hawk moths, a family of moths found most commonly in the tropics, responded to the ultrasonic hunting calls of bats. Though their techniques are a bit different (for obvious reasons), both the male and the female in three different species of hawk moth seem to rub their genitals across their abdomens to produce their own ultrasound clicks, they found in a study online today in Biology Letters.
As Nature describes the process:
They aren't sure yet exactly how this genital clicking works as an anti-bat defense. It's possible the ultrasound could startle or warn the bats off, or maybe even jam their echolocation, as one species of tiger moth does. It could be an instance of what the authors call "cross-family acoustic mimicry," since the clicks are much like the bats' own. In any case, it's a neat bit of convergent evolution--the evolution of the same trait in different kinds of animals.
Fascinating moth genital video below:
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NOT MADE BY NATURE! Just because something exists in nature doesn't mean it was invented or made by Nature. If all the chemicals necessary to make a cell were left to themselves, "Mother Nature" would have no ability to re-organize them into a cell. It takes an already existing cell to bring about another cell. The cell exists and reproduces in nature but Nature didn't invent or design it! Nature didn't originate the cell or any form of life.
Natural laws can explain how an airplane or living cell works, but it's irrational to believe that mere undirected natural laws can bring about an airplane or a cell. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic program and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could the cell have originated naturally when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? All of the founders of modern science believed in God. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM
Only evolution within "kinds" is genetically possible (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.), but not evolution across "kinds" (i.e. from sea sponge to human). How did species survive if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems were still evolving? Survival of the fittest would actually have prevented evolution across kinds! Read my Internet article: WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS! (2nd Edition). I discuss: Punctuated Equilibria, "Junk DNA," genetics, mutations, natural selection, fossils, genetic and biological similarities between species.
Natural selection doesn't produce biological traits or variations. It can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. The real issue is what biological variations are possible, not natural selection. Only limited evolution, variations of already existing genes and traits are possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.
Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION
Babu G. Ranganathan*
Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS
* I have had the privilege of being recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East" for my writings on religion and science, and I have given successful lectures (with question and answer time afterwards) defending creation from science before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities.
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