The Termite Colony and Its Chemical
The queen termite becomes extremely immobile
as her body reaches 3.5 inches (9 centimetres) in length. Therefore,
a special crew is responsible for her feeding, cleaning and safeguarding.
Termites are small, ant-like creatures that live in crowded colonies.
They build surprising nests that tower above the ground, which are in
themselves wonders of architecture. What's even more interesting is the
fact that the builders of such grandiose towers, the worker termites,
are totally blind.
The structure of the termite nest demonstrates extraordinarily complex
systems. There are special soldier units in the termite colonies that
are responsible for defence. Soldier termites are equipped with wonderful
artillery. While some are warriors, some are patrolling termites and yet
others are "suicide commandos". From the incubation of the queen to the
construction of tunnels and walls or the harvesting of the cultivated
mushrooms, every affair inside a termite nest depends on the performance
in defence of the soldiers.
Termites start building their
nests at ground level. As the population of the colony expands,
in time the termite nest is enlarged accordingly. Its height can
reach up to 13-16 feet (4-5 metres).
The survival of the colony is dependent upon the existence of the king
and queen who engage in reproduction. The queen starts expanding after
the first fertilisation. Its length can reach up to 3.5 inches (9 centimetres),
and it looks exactly like a reproductive machine. It cannot move around
easily. Since she does not do anything other than lying eggs, there is
a special crew only to take care of her by feeding and cleaning her. She
lays about thirty thousand eggs in a day, which means close to ten million
eggs in her lifetime.
In the construction of the
termite nest, there are supplementary systems such as air-conditioners,
humidifiers and ventilators. Furthermore, for the different parts
of the nest, different temperatures are set and maintained. The
temperature and carbon dioxide content of circulating air vary depending
on location within the termite nest:40
A: 86°F (30°C) - 2.7% CO2
B: 77°F (25°C) - 2.7% CO2
C: 75°F (24°C) - 0.8% CO2
Being barren, the worker termites take care of housekeeping in the colony.
Their lifespan ranges from two to four years. A certain group constructs
and maintains the termite nest. Another group watches over the eggs, the
newborn termites and the queen.
All members of the termite colony live together in organised communities.
The members of these communities communicate through senses such as smell
and taste, where chemical signals are exchanged. These deaf, dumb and
blind creatures perform and co-ordinate such complicated duties as, building,
hunting, stalking, security alerts and defence manoeuvres, by means of
The worst enemies of the termite colonies are ants and anteaters. When
a colony comes under attack by one of these predators, a special suicide
arm is launched. African termites are excellent warriors equipped with
razor-sharp teeth. They tear the attacker's bodies into pieces.
The only connection of a termite nest to the world outside is through
tunnels that are the size of a single termite. Passing through any one
of these tunnels requires "permission". The "guard" soldier termites at
the door easily detect if the intruders are in fact residents of the colony
from their smells. The head of a single termite can also work as a cap
for any one of these tunnels, which are exactly same size. In case of
attack, termites actually use their heads to close off these holes by
entering backwards and becoming stuck in these doorways.
The Sacrifice of Termites
Termites conduct extremely organised battles
against their worst enemies, the ants and ant-eating animals. They
are so determined in their defences that even the blind workers
throw themselves on the intruders in order to help the soldiers
to overcome the enemy. Above, the picture shows workers dedicated
to helping soldiers with distinctly large heads.
Another one of the methods of defence that termites often use is to willingly
sacrifice their lives in order to secure the colony and harm the enemy.
Various species of termites achieve these suicide attacks in different
ways, e.g. a certain species living in the rainforests of Malaysia is
particularly interesting. These termites are like "walking bombs" due
to their anatomy and behaviour. A special sac within their bodies holds
a chemical compound that renders their enemies ineffective. In case of
attack, when squeezed harshly by an ant or any other intruder the termite
contracts its stomach muscles and raptures the lymph tissues, which saturates
the predator with a thick, yellow-coloured fluid.
Worker termites in Africa and South America utilise a similar method.
This is exactly a suicide attack since the internal organs of the creature
are fatally damaged and the creature dies shortly thereafter.
If the offensive attack is very strong, then even the workers enter the
battle in order to help the soldiers.
Termites' teamwork and such sacrifice destroys the fundamental assertion
of Darwinism that "every creature lives for its own interest". Furthermore,
these examples show these creatures to be organised in a very amazing
way. For instance, why should a termite want to be a guardian? If it had
an option, why would it choose to have the heaviest and most self-sacrificing
job? If, in fact, it could choose, it would have chosen the easiest and
least demanding duty. Even if we assume that it decides to sacrifice itself
in defence, then it is still impossible for it to pass this behaviour
down to succeeding generations through its genes. We know that worker
termites are barren and are not able to produce any descendent generations.
Only the Creator of termites could have designed such a perfect colony
life and given constituent termite groups distinct responsibilities. Guardian
termites, too, diligently execute the duty that God inspires in them.
The Qur'an states:
Systems Preventing Coagulation
Termites utilise special systems created in their bodies in implementing
inborn defensive and instinctive sacrifices. For instance, some termites
spray poisonous chemicals into the scars inflicted as a result of bites.
Some apply an interesting "brushing" technique; they paste the poison
onto the offender's body by using the upper lip like a brush. Some termites
apply an infectious adhesive onto the attacker by a "spraying" method.
A termite defends its colony even at the price
of its own life. In the picture is a termite spraying adhesive fluid
on an attacking ant.
Defence of the termite nest is the responsibility of a group of females
in a species of African termite. These females are barren and relatively
smaller soldiers. Royal guardians, which are much larger in size, safeguard
the young larvae and the royal couple by preventing any intruders from
entering the royal cell. Smaller soldiers help the workers in food gathering
and repair of the nest.
The royal guards have been created for battle; they have shield-like
heads and razor-sharp mandibles designed for defence. 10% of the body
weight of the large soldiers is comprised of special fluids. These fluids
are composed of open-chain hydrocarbons (alkenes and alkanes) and are
stored inside sacs located to the front of their bodies. Royal guards
inject these chemical fluids into wounds inflicted on enemies by means
of their lower jaws.
What exactly do these fluids applied to enemies do? Researchers encountered
a very astounding fact in answering this question. The fluids applied
by the termites act to prevent the enemies' blood from clotting. In the
bodies of ants there is a fluid called "haemolymph" which acts as blood.
When there is an open wound in the body, another chemical starts coagulation
and enables the wound to heal. The chemical fluid from termites renders
this clot-forming chemical useless.
The presence of a coagulation system inside the body of a minute insect
like the ant is another testimony to the creation. It is simply miraculous
not only that termites produce a fluid that can neutralise this system
but also have organs that can deliver the fluid effectively. Certainly,
a perfect harmony such as this cannot possibly be explained through coincidence
in any way. Termites are surely not chemists, who understand the details
of the coagulation system in ants or synthesise a compound formula to
neutralise this system. This flawless design is without a doubt another
clear evidence that these creatures have been created by God.
Weapons of Termites
One can find many other similar examples of flawless design in the world
of termites. The soldier termites of a termite family kill their enemies
by rubbing poison onto their bodies. In order to accomplish this more
effectively, they are given smaller mandibles and brush-like upper lips.
These soldiers can also synthesise and store insecticide chemicals. A
typical soldier can store defensive fluids that comprise up to 35% of
its body weight, which is enough to kill thousands of ants.
Florida resident Prorhinotermes are created possessing
a poison rubbing technique. They make use of chemicals called "nitroalkane"
as poisons. Many other termites also use methods involving the application
of poisons, but the amazing point is the different chemical structures
of all these poisons. For instance, an African Schedorhinotermes utilise
"vinyl ketones". Guyanan termites have "B-ketoaldehydes" and Armitermes
termites have a "molecular string" as poison and chemicals called "esters"
or "lactones" as their weapons. All of these poisons immediately react
with biological molecules and cause death.
A soldier termite patrols in front of the termite nests. These
termites spray a certain infectious and adhesive fluid, which
is a type of chemical weapon.
On the foreheads of members of a Nasutitermitinae termite family are
hose-like projections that have special sacs inside. In case of danger,
the termite points this projection towards the enemy and sprays an infectious
fluid. This weapon works just like a chemical bazooka.41
According to the theory of evolution, one has to accept the assumption
that "primitive termites" had no chemical production systems in their
bodies and that it somehow formed later as a result of a series of coincidences.
However, such an assumption is totally illogical. For the poisoning system
to work properly, not only the chemical itself but also the organs to
handle these chemicals need to be totally functional. Furthermore, these
organs have to be adequately isolated so that no poison spreads within
the body. The dispensing organ has to be properly formed and isolated
as well. The spraying pipe further requires a mechanical system that is
powered by a separate muscle.
All these organs could not possibly have formed in a process of evolution
over time since the lack of a single component would render the whole
system useless causing the extinction of the termite. Therefore, the only
logical explanation would be: the "chemical weapon system" has been created
altogether in the same moment. And this would prove that there is a deliberate
"design" in all of these, which is called "creation". Just like all the
other creatures in the nature termites have been created in a moment.
God, Lord of the Worlds, fabricated the poison production centre in their
bodies and inspired in them the best way to utilise their faculties.