Wonderful Creatures

 




DID YOU KNOW ABOUT LUMINESCENT CREATURES?

Have you ever seen lights moving in trees at night? The source of these lights, which may sometimes be so many that a tree may be suffused with them all over, is fireflies. Fireflies are the best known of luminescent living creatures. These creatures, which emit light and illuminate trees in the darkness of the night, are among those that scientists have studied most. Soon we will examine why, but first let's see how these creatures use light.


Scientists have tried for years to imitate the light that fireflies emit, yet have not been successful. This is among the evidence that Allah created fireflies with a perfect design.

Fireflies produce green-yellow lights in their bodies. Light is the means of communication for fireflies. As well as giving mating signals, this light is also used for defence from enemies. By means of light, their enemies understand that fireflies are not tasty and thus decide not to feed on them.

The main characteristic of these beetles is that they make the most of light and they virtually do not waste any energy. Therefore fireflies have become a subject for investigation by scientists for years. However, despite all the research that has been carried out, humans have not yet produced a light as prolific as that of fireflies.

It is amazing how a living creature produces light, yet is not adversely affected by its heat. You must have noticed that lamps produce heat as well as illumination. If you touch a source of light, for example, a light bulb, the heat burns your hand. So you might wonder how the firefly is not injured by the heat it produces. In fact, that's what is so amazing about luminescent creatures: the heat they produce does not affect them. That is because the light produced by these creatures is completely different from what we use as a medium of illumination. This light is called "cold light", and heat is not emitted during the production of this type of light. Therefore production of this type of light is very effective and scientists have tried for years to imitate this type of light.

As well as fireflies, various underwater creatures, insects and other species also produce their own light. Each has a different way to produce its light, different fields in which to use the light and different durations and types of light. And each on its own is a wonder.

Obviously, it was not the creatures who equipped themselves with the systems to produce light and who ensure the continuance of these systems. A system that produces light in a living creature's body cannot possibly come into existence as a result of coincidences. Moreover, a structure so perfect that does not cause any damage to the body could not have possibly emerged during the production process. All luminescent creatures are evidence of Allah's artistry in excellent creation. Allah shows us the evidence of His eternal knowledge, intelligence and power in the creatures He creates. He also reminds mankind that no matter how hard man tries, he cannot bring the flawless mechanisms in nature into existence unless our Lord wills.

LUMINESCENT UNDERWATER CREATURES

Many underwater creatures, like the ones shown in the pictures, possess systems as fireflies do for producing light. They generally use their light to stupefy or frighten their enemies. Almost all of them have series of cells along their backs like seams of a fabric and these cells can produce light. Now let's have a look at the general characteristics of these creatures.

One of these species is an animal that looks like a jellyfish. They generally feed on small marine animals and plants that are invisible to the naked eye. Some seize their prey by use of their sticky tentacles, which move in water like a fishing line. Members of another species have such large mouths that they can open them wide and swallow many creatures. They have series of thin hairs on their bodies, which they use to propel themselves forward in the water.

Luminescent creatures have some other extraordinary traits. For example, some red species shine when they are struck, and can leave glitteringly illuminated particles in the water. This is a way to confuse, and thus to escape from, their enemies.

Creatures like starfish, sea urchins and feather stars are "spiny": Many of these creatures are covered with spines, which are used as a means of defence. They live on seashores, in coral reefs and on the seabed. These creatures also produce their own light to protect themselves against their enemies. Having luminous arms or spines, they can also produce clouds of light in the water when they are attacked.

Everyone in the heavens and earth belongs to Him.
All are submissive to Him. It is He Who originated
creation and then regenerates it. That is very easy
for Him. His is the most exalted designation in
the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty,
the All-Wise.
(Surat ar-Rum: 26-27)

The most interesting feature of luminescent marine creatures is probably the fact that they use their light to mislead others. A starfish species is a good example of this. This starfish species lives about 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) deep in the sea. It emits bright green-blue light from the tip of its arms. This gleaming warning notifies its enemies that it is not tasty. Another starfish species starts flashing when it is attacked and detaches and throws one of its arms towards the enemy to divert it. The attention of its enemy is distracted by the torn arm, which still emits white light. In the meantime the starfish finds the time to flee.

As we have seen in the few examples given above, the mechanisms in living creatures that enable them to produce light demonstrate to us the perfect creation of Allah. What have been mentioned here are creatures that live underwater, the dominant component of whose bodies is usually water - as in our own bodies - and that cannot possibly have intelligence like that of human beings. Yet each possesses such wonderful features that it astonishes us to know about them. This reveals that Allah originates things matchlessly. These examples are in order to make us comprehend that there is no other god besides Allah, the Creator of everything. One who understands this will comprehend Allah's infinite might and will strive only to earn Allah's good pleasure.

Remember that Allah informs us in a verse that those who dare to associate other gods with Allah will be forsaken:

Do not set up any other god together with Allah and so sit there reviled and forsaken. (Surat al-Isra': 22)

THE SLEEPING BAG OF THE PARROTFISH


The sleeping bag that protects the parrotfish is seen in the picture below.

The fish shown in the picture is called the parrotfish since it resembles a parrot as you may have noticed. This colourful fish employs quite an unusual method to protect itself against its enemies. Especially at night, it covers its entire body with a gelatine-like substance that it itself produces. Before answering the question "why?", let's see how this substance is produced and used.

This gelatinous sheath of the parrotfish is secreted from the upper side of the gill cavity. The fish secretes the substance while it breathes. After a while this sheath covers the entire body of the fish. By doing so the fish places itself within a kind of sleeping bag and becomes protected from external danger at night. This substance also enables the fish to conceal itself by camouflage. As a vital function, the transparent sleeping bag protects the fish from moray eels, one of its bitter enemies. The moray eels have an excellent sense of smell and can find their prey with it. However, the protective sheath of the parrotfish prevents the moray from perceiving its scent. The moray cannot notice the fish in the sheath even if it bumps into it while passing by.

This being the case, one should ask the following questions: How did parrotfish obtain this protective sheath that they use at night? How do they know that their leading enemy hunts by means of its sense of smell? How did they discover a substance, so essential in obstructing the moray's sense of smell so enabling them to spend the night in safety?

Obviously, one cannot expect a fish to decide to produce a chemical in its body and then to cover itself with this substance. Nor could such a thing have developed spontaneously through time. Parrotfish shown in the picture could not consciously plan to produce such a substance and could not make up such a system in their bodies of their own volition; neither could a parrotfish that lived 1,000 or 10,000 years ago.

It is a clever method of camouflage that the body of the fish is covered with gelatine, which is quite suitable for protecting the fish from its enemy. It is obvious that such a feature could come into existence only as a result of intelligent design. This intelligence is not the fish's or somebody else's, but Allah's, Who created all creatures.

THE SKILFUL CAMOUFLAGE OF SCORPION FISH

The appearance of a scorpion fish is very colourful. These fish have the same colour as the coral among which they live. As you can see in the picture, the red-and-white striped scorpion fish can conceal itself by camouflage among the coral, which are virtually the same colours. That way it escapes the attentions of predators and reduces the risk of becoming prey. Again thanks to this coloration, it can easily draw near to its own prey.

Take a careful look at the scorpion fish - seen in the picture below and the picture on the back page - and you will realise how hard it really is to notice their presence in their environments.

Like scorpion fish, many other marine creatures cannot be distinguished from their environments. Their presence is only noticed when they move. These perfectly camouflaged creatures use their coloration to enable them to hunt, to reproduce and to give various signals to other creatures. But how did this harmony come about? Who made the body of a fish the same colour as the reefs in which it lives, and made it look even more like the reefs by giving it a projecting shape?


Thanks to their particular coloration, scorpion fish conceal themselves easily among the rocks.

Neither chance nor the action of some other fish can possibly give a creature the same colour as the environment in which it lives. A fish, shrimp or crab can neither have the knowledge of colour nor be able to produce systems in their own bodies to change their colour. Such systems could only be designed and placed in the animal's body by a superior and powerful Being.

This almighty Being is Allah. Allah created all creatures together with the attributes they possess and in harmony with the environments in which they live. Allah has informed us in the Qur'an that He has knowledge of all creatures He created:

Does He Who created not then know? He is the All-Pervading, the All-Aware. It is He Who made the earth submissive to you, so walk its broad trails and eat what it provides. The Resurrection is to Him. (Surat al-Mulk: 14-15)

INTERESTING FEATURES OF SEA HORSES


Male sea horse and its young

You may have seen sea horses on television or in books. Their unusual horse-like appearance and their wavering pattern of swimming might have attracted your attention. Did you know that, contrary to what one might suppose, these animals are very small? Sea horses, which are 4 to 30 centimetres (1,5 to 12 inches) in size, generally live among seaweed and other plants close to the shore. The bony armour of the sea horse protects it against dangers. This armour is so tough that it is virtually impossible to crush a dried sea horse using your hands.

The sea horse's head is at a right angle to its body, which is not seen in any other fish. Consequently, sea horses swim with their bodies upright and can move their heads up and down. However, they cannot turn their heads to the side. Now let's think about the problems that other living creatures would suffer if they could not turn their heads to the right or to the left; they would be susceptible to all sorts of physical dangers. However, thanks to their special body designs, sea horses do not experience such problems. Each eye of a sea horse can move individually and freely in all directions. That's how sea horses see around themselves easily although they cannot turn their heads to the side.

The movements of these fish in the water are also worth consideration because they swim thanks to a quite unique system. Each sea horse has a nuumber of swim bladders. Making necessary modifications in the amount of the gas filling these bladders, a sea horse can swim upwards and downwards. If these bladders are damaged and even a minor amount of gas is lost, the sea horse sinks deep down in the sea, which means death for it. One point should be noted here: the amount of gas filling the swim bladders has been arranged exactly. Therefore any change could result in the death of the animal.

What this exact arrangement reveals to us is of great importance. If sea horses can survive only with a certain amount of gas in the bladders, then they must have possessed the current features they have today when they too first emerged. In other words, sea horses have not attained their features in time as claimed by evolutionists. They were created together with all their features and characteristics out of nothing and all at once. Like all creatures in the universe, Allah created sea horses complete and perfect.

The design in sea horses, which is merely one of the numerous marine species, is an example of Allah's infinite power and endless knowledge.

DRAGONFLIES: FLIGHT MACHINES

It is possible to see dragonflies many places where water exists. If you know this insect, you might have already seen that it moves very fast and that it can make very sudden and sharp manoeuvres. But for those who are not familiar with it, let's have a look at this insect.

The appearance of a dragonfly resembles a helicopter. This insect has such a perfect talent for flight that regardless of the speed and direction it is flying in, it can suddenly stop and fly in just the opposite direction, to such an extent that it may remain suspended in the air and wait in the proper position to attack its prey. This is thanks to its wings, which it can flap very fast. When it is in this position, it can make a swift turn and head towards its prey. In fact, these are merely a few facets of its manoeuvrability that have been sources of inspiration for mankind in the construction of helicopters that are the products of today's advanced technology.

The body of a dragonfly has a ringed structure that gives the impression of its being covered with metal. A dragonfly, whose colour may vary from ice blue to claret red, has two pairs of wings on its back, one being at the front and the other at the rear. While flying, the two front wings move up as the two rear wings move down.

Sikorsky helicopters were produced in today's technology by taking this particular form of the wings of the dragonfly as model. First the picture of a dragonfly was loaded onto a computer. Considering the dragonfly's manoeuvres in the air, 2,000 special drawings were made. At the end of this study, Sikorsky came up with its new and very strong model with its advanced mobility, meant for transporting soldiers and supplies.

Have you ever noticed dragonfly's eyes? Dragonflies have perfect vision. The eyes of the dragonfly are considered the best insect eyes by scientists. A dragonfly has a pair of eyes, each one of which contains about 30,000 lenses. These eyes, which look like two hemispheres and cover half of the insect's head, provide a broad field of view. Consequently, even its back is virtually within the dragonfly's range of vision.

These are merely a few of the features of dragonflies, described very briefly. Suppose that any one of these features of the dragonfly, say the particular type of wings, did not exist. Could this insect then make sudden manoeuvres and catch its prey? Or, if it did not have eyes that enabled it to see in every direction, could it manage to escape from its enemies?

The absence of any of the systems that a dragonfly possesses will give rise to a dysfunction of other systems. Yet, the dragonfly was created completely with all of its systems. Allah created the dragonfly perfect, like all other creatures, and it is thanks to Allah's creation that this insect lives at ease.

SECRET SHELTERS IN THE SEAS: CORALS

You may think at first sight that a coral reef is merely a heap of colourful stones. Yet, you would be mistaken because corals are living creatures. Billions of corals live together, attach themselves to others with special secretions and bring this stone-like structure into existence.

Remnants of dead corals become calcified and these residues become coral nests in time where many creatures live together. Every fish species living in a coral reef has particular characteristics. For example, fish that hunt in the daytime, such as angelfish, hide in quiet and secluded sections and cracks of the reef as the sun sets.

Patterns of behaviour of fish that live in the coral reefs are diverse. For example, some fish, like the parrotfish we mentioned earlier, sleep deeply at nights in their sleeping bags. Some fish species, such as sticklebacks, on the other hand, are half-awake while they rest. Red mullet and some others use very bright colours in daytime and turn their skin colour pale at nights.

Sponges, corals and some fish that lay eggs also live in dead coral residues. Besides these, small crabs and shrimps climb onto coral reefs to feed on microscopic plants and animals. Fish such as sharks and moray eels that live in coral reefs use their strong sense of smell to find food in the dark.

Many different creatures that Allah created in the seas and their unique designs with miraculous features manifest our Lord's matchless artistry and infinite knowledge. In Surat an-Nahl, Allah gives some examples of the creatures He created. In the same surah He states that people should be thankful for them:

And also the things of varying colours He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who pay heed. It is He Who made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that hopefully you will show thanks. (Surat an-Nahl: 13-14)