Archerfish:The First Trickshooter

Archerfish:The First Trickshooter

Ever wonder who the first trick shooter was? It wasn’t Annie Oakley, she used a gun and there were great archers long before a gun was invented. It wasn’t even Robin Hood, though his skills were reputed to be the stuff of absolute legends. Nor was it the lefthanded slingers of the tribe of Benjamin the Bible tells us could hit individual hairs with their stones. While all of them were fantastic shooters, they were not the originals. That honor goes to a fish that maxs out at sixteen inches in length. I am of course referring to the archerfish.

Archerfish are unique fresh and brackish water fishes. No other fish is known to undertake the behavior that an archerfish does.  Native to southeast Asia, India, and Sri Lanka, the archerfish got its name from its habit of playing an archer. It squirts water from its mouth. This would not be a big deal except that it is aimed at insects on leaves and branches overhanging the water. They can do this with incredible accuracy and hit moving targets while they themselves are moving. They perform complicated trigonometry and even potentially calculus in their heads to fire a burst of water droplets that produces almost six times the power of a vertebrate muscular contraction at ranges of over five feet above water. This pretty much dooms any insect hit by the stream.

It fires this stream from its mouth but it does not take in the water through its mouth. Instead, it forms its mouth and tongue into a channel shape and then forces water through its gills and expels that water from its mouth.  The water it expels travels faster at the end of the stream than at the beginning. This means the stream gradually turns into a fast traveling ball of water that lands on its target. The implication here is that the archerfish must be able to precisely judge the range to the target and the pressure it must put on its jet in order to reach the target precisely at the right moment so that the entire blob hits it.  That is fairly complicated physics, but the archerfish does it in its head.

Part of how the archerfish does this is through its fantastic vision.  Its eyes enable it to take into account the refraction of the light as it passes through the surface of the water. They also enable the archerfish to detect prey against the backdrop of plants and branches overhanging the water.  Doing all this demands eyes constructed to see both in the water and in the air, two very different mediums.  It turns out that the rods and cones in the eye cells of an archerfish are arranged in just the right way so that they function well in both the air and the water.

Archerfish are somewhat social, living in schools of dozens of individuals. They are not sexually dimorphic. The genders look identical. When spawning takes place, over 3000 eggs are dropped at once. They rise to the surface and hatch about a half day later.  The newly hatched fry instinctively know how to shoot their jet stream of water. They receive no parental care and will quickly starve unless it is able to hunt. Even as fry, archerfish have a range of over half a foot.

The archerfish causes incredible problems for the evolutionist.  It does this in a lot of different ways. It does physics, calculus, and trigonometry in its head from birth. How did it learn to do that? Many extremely intelligent people struggle to perform calculus on paper, let alone in their heads.  The archerfish brain is not tiny, but it is certainly not anywhere close to the size of the humans. How can it do this?

Further, the archerfish is able to precisely tune its jet of water to the distance and trajectory of the target. It can do this from anywhere between a 45 and 110-degree angle with a high rate of accuracy.  How does it know to do this? Where did the information come from? And how do the fry know how to produce this jet of water? They never saw their parents do it, nor did anyone teach them how to do it. Yet they know how to do it instinctively.  How do they even know they have the ability to do it? These are questions evolutionists cannot answer.

Then there is the issue of its eyes. The archerfish eyes are precisely constructed to see clearly through both the air and the water and are able to see insects camouflaged in the branches and leaves.  These eyes are ideally designed for the archerfish lifestyle. Coincidence? Not a chance. The archerfish eyes point to an omnipotent God who designed the archerfish for its lifestyle.  Evolutionists have no explanation for the origin of the archerfish.

The archerfish is not an issue for creationists. While it may not have eaten insects prior to the fall, the water jet would function equally well to knock small seeds, petals and leaves into the water for the consumption of the school of archerfish. The archerfish is clearly designed for what it does, and evolution has no explanation for it. Creation by a loving God is a much more reasonable explanation for the archerfish.


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