Life Adapts – Can We?

Death Valley is one of the last places in the world where we would expect life to flourish.  Temperatures can exceed 120 degrees, the soil is full of salt, and the wind sweeps the shifting landscape, which makes it nearly impossible for plants to take root.  Yet there are plants and animals that thrive because they learned how to adapt.

The most current issue of Mental Floss magazine has a fascinating article about life’s adaptation to the Death Valley climate. The black-tailed jackrabbit, for example, has seven inch ears containing a wealth of blood vessels which help dissipate heat and regulate body temperature.  And the jackrabbit cleverly obtains water from the plants it eats.

The Desert Holly soaks up salt from the soil and then uses the sodium to turn its green leaves to silver in order to reflect the scalding sunlight.  And the fringe-toed lizard uses the sand for escaping predators.  The lightening-fast lizard has special scales that fold over its eyes, ears, and nostrils while it steers an underground path to safety.

Adaptation can occur in the harshest of climates.  And the most difficult of times.  That is why it’s hard to hear people sell themselves short, convinced they are stuck without options.  Nature provides ample examples of how life thrives in less than ideal circumstances.

The “I can’t” attitude doesn’t exist among the plants and animals in Death Valley.  And since we pride ourselves on being smarter than jackrabbits, Desert Hollies, and fringe-toed lizards, we would benefit from burying our self-destructive phrases deep under the sand.

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