The Characteristics of the Jumping Spider
And in your creation and all the creatures
He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty.
(Surat al-Jathiyya: 4)
In contrast to many species of spider which spin webs
and wait, the jumping spider prefers to attack its prey itself by—as the
name suggests—jumping on its prey. The spider is so expert at doing this
that it can catch a flying insect from more than half a metre away.
Jumping spiders have been created powerful enough to hunt creatures
larger than themselves.
The spider can use this amazing technique thanks to
the power of hydraulic pressure in its eight legs. At the end of the attack,
it suddenly descends on its prey and digs its strong fangs into it. The
leap usually takes place between plants in overgrown areas. To do this
successfully the spider has to calculate the appropriate angle, together
with the victim's speed and direction.
Even more interesting is how the spider manages to
avoid being killed after it catches its prey. The spider risks death,
because in order to catch its prey, it naturally has to hurl itself into
the air. So it could crash back to the ground from this distance (generally
from the top of a tree). But the spider avoids this hazard by tethering
itself by the thread it spins to the branch it is perched on just before
jumping. This stops it from falling and enables it to hang in the air.
The thread is strong enough to bear both its own weight, and that of the
prey it has caught.
Mission: Locate and Lock on Target
The ability of the jumping spider's eyes to see independently
of the others enables bodies to be perceived more quickly. This
capacity, proof of God's great knowledge, makes the jumping spider
a master hunter.
The other physical characteristics
of this expert jumping spider species are also impeccable. Two of the
eyes in the middle of its head are extended forward like binoculars. These
two large eyes can move left and right and up and down in their sockets.
Thanks to their retinas of four tiers, which are sensitive to green and
ultraviolet wavelengths, the spider's eyes give it excellent distance
vision. The other four eyes on the side of its head do not see with the
same clarity, but they can sense any movement around them. In this way
the animal can easily perceive prey or an enemy behind it.13
Let us think about what we have learned about the jumping
spider so far. Its bodily construction is such as to enable it to make
swift moves, and catch its prey with one jump. In the same way its eyes
allow it to see its prey from any direction.
Naturally, the spider did not think that these extra
eyes might be useful to it and then make them. And these eyes did not
come about by chance. The animal was created, together with its characteristics,
by God. The theory of evolution, which cannot explain how even one eye
came into existence, is unable to make any comment concerning the jumping
spider's eight eyes and the perfect coordination between them.
A Perfect Camouflage Technique in Every Way
If you are asked what you can see in the top right-hand
picture, you will naturally say "A few ants on and under a leaf."
But the thing waiting beneath the leaf in the picture is not an ant. It
is a type of jumping spider known as Myrmarachne. The only way of telling
the spider from the ants is by the number of its legs. Because spiders
have eight legs and ants six.
This jumping spider, Mopsus mormon, can comfortably catch prey up
to five times its own size, because it has large and powerful jaws.
When the spider is not using its large, black jaws for hunting,
it folds them up inside its mouth, enabling it to move around with
ease. Thanks to its powerful jaws, Mopsus is able to deal with mice,
and even snakes.
How is the jumping spider able to
deceive the ants? Its does so not just by resembling them in appearance,
but also by mimicking their behaviour. For example, in order to disguise
the number of its legs, the jumping spider holds up its front pair of
legs to simulate the ant's waving antennae.14
In this way they resemble the ants' antennae. At this point we have to
stop and think: this means the spider is able to count. The spider has
first counted the number of its own legs and those of the ants, and then
compared the two. Seeing the difference, it understood that it would have
to get rid of them, and in a most conscious manner it made its own extra
legs resemble antennae.
There are several points to be borne in mind here.
First of all, the spider is physically a completely different creature
from the ant. For the spider to look like an ant, it is not enough for
it to stick its legs up in the air. It also has to copy the ants' walk
and body position. To do this it has to be an expert observer and also
be expert at portraying what it sees, like an actor playing a role.
As we have seen, the spider uses methods of imitation,
which require thinking, putting its thoughts into action, and realising
the necessary physical transformations as it does so. No thinking, intelligent
person will find it hard to see that the spider cannot do all this. For
one thing, the spider's brain is not capable of that kind of thinking.
So, what is the source of the spider's abilities? But before coming to
any conclusion, it will be useful to examine some other qualities necessary
for the disguise to be complete.
Jumping spiders' imitations of ants are so perfect that other
jumping spiders mistake them for real ants and try to hunt them.
The spider's disguise consists of
more than just the above. In order to look like an ant it needs to hide
its eyes, which are not single large points, like the ants' are. But a
characteristic of the spider has resolved this problem. Two dark spots
on the spider's sides mimic the weaver ant's large compound eyes. 15
Let us stop and think. The spider cannot know about
the two spots on either side of its head. It is hardly intelligent to
talk about a situation where a spider knows about something and consciously
develops a strategy from it. In that case, how did the spider, which lives
on ants and mimics them, come by the counterfeit eyes on the side of its
head? How did the spider manage to "learn," "count,"
and "mimic?" What would have happened if it had not had those
false eyes? In that case, no matter how good a mimic the spider was, the
ants would identify it. If the ants realised the danger and reacted before
the spider did, then that would be the end of the spider. The ants would
kill the spider with their powerful jaws. As is obvious, it is not enough
for the spider to mimic ants, it also has to have those false eyes from
birth for the disguise to be successful.
These are a few of the characteristics which the spider
needs to survive. Should one of them be lacking, the jumping spider would
soon die. In this case it is impossible to say that the spider came by
its characteristics by coincidence. The spider came into possession of
all of them at the same time. God has created every living thing in a
perfect form, together with every characteristic it will need.
Sometimes jumping spiders even hunt each other. The interesting
thing is how they do this by imitating other species of spider.
Phyaces comosus is a perfect pantomime artist, sneaking up to other
spiders' nests and devouring their eggs . The 2 millimetre long
Phyaces looks like a barely animated piece of dirt. It makes use
of this resemblance to put up quite a show. Mimicking a piece of
dirt rolling in the wind, it gradually approaches the nest which
is its target. It plays its role so well that even the mother spider
standing guard at the entrance to the nest entertains no suspicion
of it. When the spider has got close to the eggs, it suddenly attacks,
grabs an egg and begins to eat it. In addition, the Phyaces' body
is covered in very thick hairs. These give it important protection.
When Phyaces fall out among themselves, they lift their legs and
try to frighten their rival by showing the shiny hairs under their
bodies. It is God Who gave this species of spider all its features.
God is the incomparable Creator. He is aware of all creation.
The male of the Myrmarachne plataleoides
spider has a most interesting appearance. The males of this species have
a long "nose". When the spider catches its prey, or if it is
in danger of attack, he splits the "nose" and unfolds the haves
into jaws with unsheathed fangs at each tip.16
The spider can then use these very long, sharp extensions like swords.
The Devotion of the Jumping Spider
As soon as it is born, every young spider has the ability to
make webs, because it is created with a body made for web-building
and with the skill and knowledge of how a web is built.
The jumping spider carries its newly
born young on its back for a time. In this way it can both meet their
needs and protect them better.17 The spider,
which is a pitiless death machine to its enemies, behaves at the same
time most affectionately to its offspring. This is a situation which poses
many questions for the evolutionists, who claim that there is a struggle
for life between living creatures in nature and that only the fittest
can survive. But when we examine living creatures in nature, we come across
examples in direct opposition to the evolutionists' claims. There are
obvious examples of devotion between creatures of both the same and different
species. This fact of animals sacrificing themselves for other living
creatures, or of risking death for their young, puts evolutionists into
an impasse when they look at nature. One scientific magazine describes
the position as follows:
The question is why living things
help each other. According to Darwin's theory, every living thing is
in a constant state of war to preserve its own life and to reproduce
itself. Since helping others will decrease the chances of its own survival,
this behaviour pattern should have died out in the long term. Whereas
it is seen that living things can be self-sacrificing.18
To protect its young, the jumping spider carries them on its
back for a while.
It is obvious that it is impossible to explain mother
animals' love for their offspring by any evolutionary mechanism. This
is such a definite fact that many evolutionists, such as Cemal Yildirim,
have had to admit it:
Is there any possibility of explaining
love for offspring by any "blind" system that does not include
emotional factors (natural selection)? It is certainly difficult to say
that biologists, and Darwinists, have been able to give any satisfying
response to this question.19
Of course it is not possible to explain the concepts of love, compassion
and the desire to protect in terms of any "blind" system. Because
it is God who inspires all behaviour in animals, which lack consciousness
and intelligence. It is not possible for any animal, of its own accord,
to demonstrate sacrifice, to prepare plans, or indeed to do anything else.
It is God who controls everything.