The Hidden Variety of Life

One of the first lessons I learned when I started traveling to research Created Kinds was the incredible amount of variety that can be seen in plants and animals … if one takes the time to look. Much of it is physically hidden from view and much of it is hidden from common knowledge because of generalizations about both the environment and the organisms themselves.

Sand Dunes

Perhaps one of the most striking examples of this comes from my trip to Death Valley National Park. The park itself contains part of the lesson of over-generalization. Growing up, what I recall being taught about Death Valley and seeing on nature documentaries were the sand dunes that exhibited the great desert landscape – along with the sidewinders which were one of the few animals that could survive this harsh environment.

Coyote in Death Valley

Coyote in Death Valley

The real Death Valley is so much more. [ Death Valley Photos ] It is the largest National Park in the contiguous 48 states. It is bounded by mountains on the East and West. It has salt flats in the south and dry playas in the north. It has mountain passes, ghost towns from mining operations, and much more. Those familiar sand dunes … were a tiny fraction of the area and located roughly in the center of the park. Although Death Valley is inhospitable, there are still many species of plants and animals and it is quite interesting to understand their acclimation to the desert environment. By the way, my personal acclimation to the desert was to wear a coat … I went in the winter season and it was quite cold during the night and early morning hours.

Desert Flower

One of the most hidden surprises of this desert comes in some of the flowers. The park is full of seeds and roots buried in the ground waiting for when the rare rain comes. They will soak up the water and then, for a short time, the desert can bloom. I was not there after a rain, but as I drove down the road, I spotted this single bright flower. What is not shown in the picture is the paper cup from a fast-food restaurant on the ground next to it. Apparently, all it took was someone to toss out some water (or soda) and this plant grew and bloomed.

Desert Holly

Desert Holly

It probably should be noted, that the mixture of plants and animals we can see today is just the tip of the iceberg. There is an incredible amount of variety in the fossil record. The species that still exist pale in comparison. These are things made by our Creator hidden to us by time. One can only guess at what the new Heavens and Earth will be like.

Todd Elder

Todd Elder

Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
Todd Elder

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