"TOXIC TOADS EVOLVING INTO ECO-NIGHTMARE" reports an article on BBC online news, 15 Feb 2006, about a study of Australian cane toads also reported in the Daily Telegraph, news@nature and Nature, vol 439, p803, 16 Feb 2006. Cane toads from the USA were introduced into Australia over 70 years and are gradually spreading over the northern regions of Australia.

Biologists at the University of Sydney have studied the rate of advance of the invasion front and compared the size of the toads found at the front with toads in older more established populations. Ben Philips, one of the researchers, explained the results: "During an invasion process the individuals at the front are there because they have moved the furthest. We showed that the toads that are the first to arrive at the front are the ones with the longest legs, and the ones last to arrive have shorter legs. The front toads also have much longer legs than the older populations in Queensland." Amphibian ecologist David Skelly of Yale University commented to news@nature that this study is "one the first known examples of a vertebrate rapidly evolving in a new environment." He went on to say:

"People have this deep seated feeling that vertebrates don't evolve on these sorts of timescales. But this work shows that it can happen."

ED. COM. What ever cane toads are up to in Australia, they are not evolving. All that is happening here is that the toads which are winning the race across Australia, are the ones that already have a gene for longer legs. As a result of leaving the others behind the faster toads are becoming temporarily separated from the shorter legged toads. Therefore toads at the invasion front can only mate with toads of similar leg length and thus reinforce the long legged tendency. WE PREDICT THAT when the short legged toads catch up to the front line they will breed with the long legged animals once more, resulting in a return to the average leg length seen in older established populations. When this happens will the evolutionists claim they are devolving? (Ref. Bufo, ecology, evolution)

8. IT'S AGOOD TIME TO REMEMBER a previous article on Toad/ Snake evolution from Evidence News, 2 Feb 2005. AUSSIE SNAKES ARE EVOLVING, according to articles in BBC News Online, 8 Dec 2004, and Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), vol. 101 p17150, 7 Dec 2004. The BBC article

begins: "Snakes in Australia have evolved to counter the threat of invasive poisonous cane toads, scientists have found." Cane toads were introduced into Australia in the 1930's and have had a devastating effect on native animals that normally eat frogs and toads, because the toads have highly toxic chemicals in their skin. Ben Phillips and Richard Shine of the University of Sydney studied changes in head and body sizes of snakes in regions of Australia that have been invaded by cane toads. They compared two snakes, the red-bellied black snake and the green tree snake, both of which are poisoned if they eat cane toads, with two species that are less susceptible to cane toad poison. They found that the susceptible snakes have smaller heads in comparison to their overall body size. Because snakes swallow their prey whole, snakes with smaller heads are limited to smaller prey and are less likely to eat a cane toad large enough to kill them.

"These results provide strong evidence of adaptive changes in native predators as a result of the invasion of toxic prey" wrote Ben Phillips.

PNAS classifies this study as an example of "contemporary evolution". BBC

article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4073359.stm

ED. COM. The change in snake head size is not really adaptation, and is certainly not evolution. Adaptation is the built in ability of organisms to cope with changes in their environment. However, when a snake's head has grown big enough to eat a large poisonous cane toad, it is too late to adapt once it has eaten one. What has really happened over the last 70 years in cane toad infested regions of Australia is that snakes that already had large heads have been killed by eating cane toads, leaving only snakes that already had small heads to reproduce. ScienceNOW (the online news service associated with the journal Science) called it "survival of the pinheads".

This is the process of natural selection, and selection, natural or otherwise, is not evolution. Creation Research has said this many times, and will go on saying it. To select something is to choose it from an already existing group of alternatives. It does not explain how the alternatives came into existence, and it certainly does not make them change into other alternatives. All it does is eliminate some alternatives, which is the opposite of evolution. (Ref, snakes, toads, adaptation)

9. CREATION HAS NO PREDICTIVE POWER is one of the most common criticisms made by skeptics and evolutionists alike. We have deliberately kept records of all the items we have predicted over the years, and now it's available all as a complete file. To receive this attachment which will help you answer one of the most fallacious arguement of all evolutionists, contact info@creationresearch.net and ask for "Creation Predictions" attachment.


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