The Periodical Cicada’s Timing
I found this interesting little bug on the back cover of the Awake No. 4 2016. Cicadas live on every continents except on one, Antarctica. These insects look like locusts and they are uncommon to the northeast of America. These insects have enchanted biologists.
Consider: Just a few weeks ago, millions of periodical cicadas suddenly appeared in the spring. During their life, they shed their juvenile skin, sing deafeningly, fly, reproduce, and then die. Funny enough, the next generation appears thirteen or seventeen years later, depending on the species. So what happens in between?
I wanted to understand these interesting creature, understand their rare life cycle. Close to a week after appearing, the adult insects mate and the female lays a whopping four hundred to six hundred eggs inside tree twigs. Soon after, the adults died. Within the next few weeks, the eggs hatch and the young nymphs drop to the earth, burrow into the soil, and begin a life underground, where they suck fluids from the roots of shrubs or trees for several years. Either thirteen or seventeen year later, the new adult generation emerges to repeat the cycle.
According to an article in Nature magazine, the complex life cycle of these cicadas “has confounded scientists for centuries. . . . Even now, entomologists are trying to understand how the insects’ peculiar life cycles evolved.”
What do you think? Could the periodical cicada’s timing be the product of evolution? Or was it designed?
The periodical cicada reminds me of a species of butterfly.
Jehovah’s Witnesses. (2016, August). WAS IT DESIGNED? Awake! No. 4 2016, Awake(4), 16. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102016132