It may be hard to imagine the pesky little vampires that like to ruin summertime fun as examples of God’s design, but it turns out mosquitoes are more complex than they appear.

Until recently, scientists had been unable to figure out how mosquitoes fly. Most flying insects are able to lift off because of what scientists refer to as the Bernoulli effect, an aerodynamic principle that when air movement speeds up, air pressure decreases. Airplane wings generate lift because air goes faster over the top of the wing, creating an area of low pressure. The difference in pressure between the top and bottom of the wing pushes the airplane upward. Birds and most flying insects use this principle, Jerry Bergman, a biologist and professor at the University of Toledo, explains on the blog Creation Evolution Headlines.

But mosquitoes can move their long, slender wings only in a very limited arc and cannot take advantage of the Bernoulli effect. Now researchers have discovered the mosquitoes’ secret: they use a mechanism “unlike any previously described for a flying animal,” according to an article in the journal Nature.

The researchers found mosquitoes use three different properties of aerodynamic motion, two of which are unique to the insects.

“For this complex system to function requires not only the hardware, including the wing and neuromuscular design, but also the software, in this case, the brain,” Bergman wrote.

The complex system shows the weaknesses of Darwin’s theory of evolution. If mosquitoes evolved through random mutations, they would not have been able to fly until the entire system was in place. Mosquitoes would not have been able to access the plant nectar that provides their food nor the proteins and lipids female mosquitoes need to breed and lay their eggs.

“The design of just the system that allows a small insect to fly is a wonder to behold. It took some of our brightest Oxford University scientists, and the latest technology, to unlock its secret,” Bergman said.


Julie Berg, WORLD MAGAZINE; July 28, 2017