The Illustra Media documentary Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans of the Earth shares amazing information about humpback whales: their enigmatic songs, their multiple adaptations for aquatic life that defy the evolutionary mechanism, and the “miraculous web” of blood vessels that refrigerates the male reproductive organs to safe levels for sperm production. All of it defies explanations based on natural selection. But that’s just the beginning when it comes to the largest animals that have ever lived — larger even than the largest dinosaurs (see Brian Switek’s discussion on Slate). Want to see humpback songs as sheet music? The Smithsonian has printouts and recordings.
More About the Male Refrigeration System
The system actually works better when the whale swims hard. How can that be, when the testes are located right between the abdominal swimming muscles? It’s like trying to keep a refrigerator cold between two furnaces.
It works because the blood pumps harder during exercise, allowing more heat to escape into the water through the dorsal fin and tail. The higher volume of cool venous blood then enters the “miraculous web” (Latin rete mirabile, read more here) between the abdominal muscles, where the heat from the arteries is transferred to the cooler veins before entering the testes. It’s a marvelous solution: a “counter-current heat exchanger” (CCHE) mechanism.
As Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson explain in the film, without both internal testes and the refrigeration mechanism existing simultaneously, natural selection would halt, and whales would have gone extinct. Females, too, have a CCHE to protect the young during pregnancy. Similar CCHE systems are found in other marine mammals such as manatees and seals, providing more unlikely examples of “convergent evolution.”Evolution News