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Crocodiles

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Consider the crocodile. See him quietly sunning himself on the bank of a muddy tropical river. Ugly specimen, isn’t he? With that knobby hide, and bulbous eyes, he’ll never win a beauty contest. Notice, too, that great maw of his, with all the ferocious teeth! And don’t forget his tail: it’s a fearsome weapon also!

No, you’re not likely to want a full-grown crocodile or alligator for a pet. But they do have a place and a purpose in life; and as we shall see, they are uniquely fitted for the life they lead. In fact, we can identify at least five special adaptations that make it possible for these large reptiles to succeed in life.

First, and most obvious, is the location of the crocodile’s eyes, ears and nostrils. By no coincidence at all, they are located on the upper surface of his long head, so that they are out of the water when he is floating just below the surface. Thus, he can pretend to be just a harmless old log, floating in the water, while actually he’s as ready for action as a cocked and loaded gun.

Secondly, if we examine his eyes more closely, we find that crocodiles have the usual two eyelids, plus an extra. This third eyelid is a transparent membrane which can sweep from side to side, much like a windshield wiper on an automobile. But besides keeping the eye clean, this membrane also protects the eye under water and keeps it moist when it is out of the water.

Thirdly, examine the ears – if you can find them! They are simply tubes of skin, located behind the eyes, which carry sound down to the inner ears. They are equipped with muscular valves to pinch them shut when the crocodile submerges, keeping water out of his ears.

Fourthly, his nostrils are also worthy of close scrutiny. Not only are they air scoops which are cunningly disguised as woody knobs on the floating “log,” but they also have special muscles to close them while under water.

Finally, and perhaps the most unusual adaptation of all, is his stomach – or rather, his stomachs. The crocodile masticates his food the same way as do toothless birds – in a “gizzard”. Of course the crocodile has teeth, as we all know. But they are only knives, for gripping and killing his prey. He has no grinders to chew his meat. Instead, the forepart of his stomach consists of a powerful muscular chamber, which does his chewing for him. The crocodile instinctively swallows stones to provide the hard cutting surfaces needed to shred his food. These stones remain in the crocodile’s “gizzard”.

Taken all together, these adaptations help make the crocodile the fearsome and efficient predator that he is. Without them, we probably would never have heard of such a beast, for he would have died out long ages ago.

But how came the crocodile be all these specialized adaptations? Did he grow them, at the rate of a tiny fraction of change per generation, as evolutionists seem to believe?

Think again! The crocodile is too slow and cumbersome on land to catch prey. His hunting domain is the water, and all his adaptations are pointed toward improving his efficiency in this element. His generations could never have waited out the hundreds of thousands of years supposedly necessary for these adaptations to evolve. He needed them from the start.

And he had them. In the beginning, “God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:25)

When the Bible says that “God saw that it was good,” part of the meaning is that the creatures were fully formed; complete, and ready to function as intended – able also to reproduce themselves exactly as they were. They would not have been “good” otherwise. They would have been partial and incomplete.

In a fuller sense, the words “God saw that it was good” means that He looked upon all the He had created, and found it good. He had made the world sweet and clean. All was in perfect harmony. There was no anger nor wrath, neither jealousy nor covetousness when the world was new. Neither was there death nor destruction.

All these evils entered the world and distorted it after man brought sin into the world. This is why the Bible says, “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22) The world eagerly awaits the future time promised when, “The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together; and a little child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze. Their young ones will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the ox... They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh [that is, God], as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)

We don’t know what crocodiles and alligators will eat in that glorious time, but God will supply their needs then, just as He does today, and always has – just as He has provided for man’s physical needs, and longs to provide for all our spiritual needs as well, in His Son, Christ Jesus.

(All Scripture is quoted from the World English Bible translation.)