The scorpion's sensory abilities

Desert-dwelling sand scorpions are some of the most dangerous small arachnids. This species of scorpion is almost blind, yet it expertly locates its prey at night. How is this surprising skill possible?

The answer is linked to the cleft-shaped sensors on its eight feet, which are so sensitive that they can detect vibrations smaller than one millionth of a millimeter.

Let us imagine that a butterfly lands somewhere near a scorpion, setting up two types of vibrational waves in the ground. The first type are so-called volume waves and move faster than 150 meters a second (492 feet/second). The second, known as Rayleigh waves, travel parallel to the surface at more than 50 meters a second (164 feet/second). The scorpion determines the distance to its prey by analyzing the difference between the times at which the two waves arrive. (Akrebin Silahı: Fizik" (Physics: The Scorpion's Secret Weapon), Bilim ve Teknik, September 2000, p. 16.; Physics World, July 2000.)

Of course, knowing the prey's distance still doesn't establish its exact location. The scorpion must also determine the prey's direction.

The scorpion's legs stand on the ground in a circle approximately 5 cm in diameter. That makes for a difference as small as 5 milliseconds (1/200th of a second) between the arrival of the Rayleigh wave from the prey at the nearest scorpion's foot and its arrival at the foot furthest away. When the sensors' nerve cells detects a Rayleigh wave, one of the cells transmits a signal to the central nervous system, as well as to the nerve that perceives the waves from the three opposite legs with a slight delay. However, the signal from those three legs is suppressed, and does not immediately reach the nervous system center.

In this way, the creature can analyze the position of the foot that constitutes the source of the earliest signal and those of the other three feet. By this positional analysis, it establishes the direction of the source of the wave.

Should the difference between the warning signal and the suppressed signals reaching the sensors in the feet be less than 1/500th of a second, then the nervous system perceives both signals at the same time, with no delay. For the scorpion this means going into action and using all its perfectly designed weapons for the attack.

The eight nerve cells that process the signals from the feet make a joint decision, just like a committee, on the direction of the prey.( W. Stürzl, R. Kempter and J. L. Van Hemmen, "Theory of arachnid prey localization;" http://itb.biologie.huberlin.de/~kempter/Publications/2000/PhysRevLett/abstract.html)           

How does this happen? Do the nerve cells hold a meeting every single time, set out the data and arrive at a conclusion?

Obviously, there is no such meeting. Nerve cells consist of nothing but protein, fat and water, with no reason or consciousness.

This mechanism has operated exactly the same in all the scorpions that have lived over millions of years. It did not develop by chance over time, as evolutionists would have us believe, nor was it added on afterwards. Almighty God created the scorpion with its perfect design.

2016-09-04 23:00:33

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