BEHAVIORS AND SYSTEMS 

MAXIMUM STORAGE WITH MINIMUM MATERIAL


 Bees construct hives in which 30,000 bees can live and work together by shaping small portions of beeswax.

The hive is made up of beeswax-walled honeycombs, which have hundreds of tiny cells on each of their faces. All honeycomb cells are exactly the same size. This engineering miracle is achieved by the collective work of thousands of bees. Bees use these cells for food storage and the maintenance of young bees.

Bees have been using the hexagonal structure for the construction of honeycombs for millions of years. (A bee fossil has been found dating from 100 million years ago). It is astonishing that they have chosen a hexagonal structure rather than an octagonal, or pentagonal. Mathematicians give the reason: "the hexagonal structure is the most suitable geometric form for the maximum use of unit area." If honeycomb cells were constructed in another form, then there would be areas left unused; thus, less honey would be stored, and fewer bees would be able to benefit from it.

As long as their depths are the same, a triangular or quadrangular cell would hold the same amount of honey as a hexagonal cell. However, among all these geometric forms, the hexagonal has the shortest circumference. Whilst they have the same volume, the amount of wax required for hexagonal cells is less than the amount of wax required for a triangular or quadrangular one.

The conclusion: hexagonal cells require minimal amounts of wax in terms of construction while they store maximal amounts of honey. Bees themselves surely cannot have calculated this result, obtained by man after many complex geometrical calculations. These tiny animals use the hexagonal form innately, just because they are taught and "inspired" so by their Lord.
 
The hexagonal design of cells is practical in many respects. Cells fit to one another and they share each other's walls. This, again, ensures maximum storage with minimum wax. Although the walls of the cells are rather thin, they are strong enough to carry a few times their own weight.
 
As well as in the walls of the sides of the cells, bees also take the maximum saving principle into consideration while they construct the bottom edges.
 
Combs are built as a slice with two rows lying back to back. In this case, the problem of the junction point of two cells occurs. Constructing the bottom surfaces of cells by combining three equilateral quadrangles solves this problem. When three cells are built on one face of the comb, the bottom surface of one cell on the other face is automatically constructed.
 
As the bottom surface is composed of equilateral quadrangular wax plaques, a downward deepening is observed at the bottom of those cells made by this method. This means an increase in the volume of the cell and, thus, in the amount of honey stored.


 
OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF HONEY COMB CELLS


 Another point that bees consider during the construction of the honeycomb is the inclination of cells. By raising cells 13o on both sides, they prevent the cells from being parallel to the ground. Thus, honey does not leak out from the mouth of the cell.
 
While working, worker bees hang onto each other in circles and congregate together in bunches. By doing this, they provide the necessary temperature for wax production. Little sacks in their abdomens produce a transparent liquid, which leaks out and hardens the thin wax layers. Bees collect the wax with the little hooks on their legs. They put this wax into their mouths, and chew and process it until it softens enough and so give it shape in the cells. Many bees work together to ensure the required temperature for the work place in order to keep the wax soft and malleable.
 
There is another interesting point to note: the construction of the honeycomb starts from the upper side of the hive and continues simultaneously in two or three separate rows downward. While a honeycomb slice expands in two opposite ections, first the bottom of its two rows join. This process is realized in an astonishing harmony and order. Therefore, it is never possible to understand that the honeycomb actually consists of three separate parts. The honeycomb slices, which started simultaneously from different ections, are so perfectly arranged that, although there are hundreds of different angles in its structure, it seems like one uniform piece.
 
For such a construction, bees need to calculate the distances between the starting and connection points in advance and then design the dimensions of the cells accordingly. How can such a delicate calculation be done by thousands of bees? This has always impressed scientists.
 
It is obviously irrational to assume that bees have solved this task, which man can hardly manage. There is such a delicate and detailed organization involved that it is impossible for them to carry it out on their own.
 
So how do they achieve this? An evolutionist would explain that this event has been achieved by "instinct". However, what is the "instinct" that can address thousands of bees at the same time and make them perform a collective task? It would not be sufficient even if each bee acted on its own "instinct", since what they do would necessarily have to be in concordance with each other’s instincts in order to achieve this astonishing result. Due to this, they must be ected by an "instinct" coming from a unique source. Bees, who start constructing the hive from different corners and then combine their separate tasks without leaving any gaps and having all the cells constructed equally in a perfect hexagonal structure, must certainly be receiving "instinctive" messages from the very same source!...
 
The term "instinct" used above is "only a name" as mentioned in the Qur’an, in the 40th verse of Surah Yusuf. It is of no use insisting on such "mere names" in order to conceal clear truths. Bees are guided from a unique source and thus they successfully come to perform tasks which they otherwise would not be able to. It is not instinct, a term with no definition, that guides bees but the "inspiration" mentioned in Surat an-Nahl. What these tiny animals do is implement the programme that Allah has particularly set for them.


 
HOW THEY DETERMINE THEIR ECTION


 Bees usually have to fly long distances and scan large areas to find food. They collect flower pollens and the constituents of honey within a range of 800m of the hive. A bee, which finds flowers, flies back to its hive to let others know about their place, but how will this bee describe the location of the flowers to the other bees in the hive?
 
By dancing!… The bee returning to the hive starts to perform a dance. This dance is a means of expression, which it uses to tell the other bees the location of the flowers. This dance, repeated many times by the bee, includes all the information about the inclination, ection, distance and other details of the food source that enable other bees to reach it.
 
This dance is actually a figure "8" constantly repeated by the bee (see picture above). The bee forms the middle part of the figure "8" by wagging its tail and performing zigzags. The angle between the zigzags and the line between the sun and the hive gives the exact ection of the food source (see picture above).
 
However, knowing only the ection of the food source is not enough. Worker bees also need to "know" how far they have to travel to collect the ingredients for the honey, so, the bee returning from the flower source, "tells" the other bees the distance of the flower pollens by means of certain body movements. It does this by wagging the bottom part of its body and creating air currents. For example, in order to "describe" a distance of 250m, it wags the bottom part of its body 5 times in half a minute. This way, the exact location of the source is made clear in detail, both with respect to its distance and its orientation.
 
A new problem awaits the bee in those flights where the round trip to the food source takes a long time. As the bee, who can only describe the food source according to the ection of the sun, goes back to its hive, the sun moves 1 degree every 4 minutes. Eventually, the bee will make an error of 1 degree for each four minutes it spends on the way about the ection of the food source of which it informs the other bees.
 
Astonishingly, the bee does not have such a problem! The bee's eye is formed of hundreds of tiny hexagonal lenses. Each lens focuses on a very narrow area just like a telescope does. A bee looking towards the sun at a certain time of the day can always find its location while it flies. The bee is reckoned to do this calculation by making use of the change in the light emitted by the sun depending on the time of the day.


Consequently, the bee determines the ection of the target location without mistake by making corrections in the information it gives in the hive as the sun moves forward.


 
METHOD OF MARKING FLOWERS


 When a flower has already been visited, the honeybee can understand that another bee has earlier consumed the nectar of that flower, and leave the flower immediately. This way, it saves both time and energy. Well, how does the bee understand, without checking the flower, that the nectar has earlier been consumed?
 
This is made possible because the bees which visited the flower earlier marked it by leaving a drop on it with a special scent. Whenever a new bee looks in on the same flower, it smells the scent and understands that the flower is of no use and so goes on ectly towards another flower. Thus, bees do not waste time on the same flower.

 
THE MIRACLE OF HONEY


 Do you know how important a food source the honey is, which Allah offers man by means of a tiny insect?


Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it.

From their bellies comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind… (Surat an-Nahl: 69)

We have made them (livestock) tame for them and some they ride and some they eat. And they have other uses in them and milk to drink. So will they not show thanks? (Surah Yasin: 72-73)

As Allah says in the Qur’an, honey is a "healing for men". This scientific fact was confirmed by scientists who assembled during the World Apiculture Conference held from 20-26 September 1993 in China. During the conference, treatments with honey derivatives were discussed.

American scientists in particular said that honey, royal jelly, pollen and propolis (bee resin) cure many diseases. A Romanian doctor stated that he tried honey on cataract patients, and 2002 out of his 2094 patients recovered completely. Polish doctors also informed the conference that bee resin helps to cure many diseases such as hemorrhoids, skin problems, gynecological diseases and many other disorders.

Nowadays, apiculture and bee products have opened a new branch for research in countries advanced in science. Other benefits of honey may be described as below:
 
Easily digested: Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars (e.g. fructose to glucose), honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.
 
Has a low calorie level: Another quality of honey is that, when it is compared with the same amount of sugar, it gives 40% less calories to the body. Although it gives great energy to the body, it does not add weight.
 
Rapidly diffuses through the blood: When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in 7 minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar.
 
Supports blood formation: Honey provides an important part of the energy needed by the body for blood formation. In addition, it helps in cleansing the blood. It has some positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.
 
Does not accommodate bacteria: This bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named "the inhibition effect". Experiments conducted on honey show that its bactericide properties increase twofold when diluted with water. It is very interesting to note that newly born bees in the colony are nourished with diluted honey by the bees responsible for their supervision - as if they know this feature of the honey.
 
Royal Jelly: Royal jelly is a substance produced by worker bees inside the beehive. Inside this nutritious substance are sugar, proteins, fats and many vitamins. It is used in problems caused by tissue deficiency or body frailty.

It is obvious that honey, which is produced in much higher amounts than the requirements of the bees, is made for the benefit of man. And it is also obvious that bees cannot perform such an unbelievable task "on their own."

 
TAKEN FROM "FOR MEN OF UNDERSTANDING"
BY HARUN YAHYA, TA-HA PUBLISHERS, UNITED KINGDOM, 1999

THE MAGNESTIC POSITIONING SYSTEM IN PIGEONS

A recent experiment has provided important support for the theory that homing pigeons make use of the Earth's magnetic field to determine their direction.
 
Since ancient times human beings have used pigeons to carry their messages to recipients at distant locations. There is evidence, for example, that pigeons were used for the purpose of transmitting messages in Baghdad in 1150.
 
In 1850, Paul Reuter, founder of the world famous news agency Reuters, distributed news and stock exchange bond prices between the Belgian capital, Brussels, and the German city of Aachen using a fleet of 45 pigeons.
 
Homing pigeons are capable of traveling very long distances. The distance record for a pigeon that succeeded in returning home again is 1689 miles (approximately 2719 km).
 
Up until the present day the question of how the pigeons, known by the scientific name Columba livia, manage to locate their homes was a mystery. Among the possible explanations a powerful sense of smell and the ability to perceive magnetic fields predominated. Following decades of research, scientists have revealed that pigeons genuinely do possess the ability to perceive magnetic fields.
 
Cordula Mora, a biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her co-workers placed the pigeons in a wooden tunnel. When the magnetic coils on the exterior of the tunnel were switched on, a magnetic field that attained its highest level in the center of the tunnel was formed. Mora trained four pigeons to fly to one side of the tunnel if the magnetic field inside the tunnel was undisturbed, and to the other side if the coils were on. The pigeons' ability to detect the magnetic field was then measured. The pigeons made the correct choice in 55% to 65% of 24 experiments carried out to that end.
 
Researchers had previously discovered magnetite inside the homing pigeons' beaks. In order to test whether or not this region was the center of the bird's magnetic sense, Mora attached small magnets that would weaken their ability to detect magnetic fields to each bird's beak. As a result, a significant decrease in magnetic field detection occurred. The success rate fell to below 50%. However, the birds adapted to the distortion caused by the magnets, and it was observed that the success rate rose again parallel to this.

An experimental homing pigeon with a magnet attached to its beak.
However, when non-magnetic materials (made of brass, for example) were attached to their beaks, magnetic field detection was unaffected. In the same way, the surgical severing of the olfactory nerves in the birds' beak region also failed to weaken this ability.
 
These findings reinforced the theory that pigeons navigate by the magnetic field surrounding the Earth.
 
It was known that migrating birds made use of other visual clues, such as the sun, moon, stars and memorized landmarks. Mora now added the Earth's magnetic field to these, stating that it contributes to accurate navigation, and said:
 
"Every point on Earth has a unique combination of magnetic intensity and magnetic inclination. This would help the pigeon know where it was in relation to its goal."
 
Other researchers also interpret this finding as a major step forward in understanding pigeons' sensory systems.

On the other hand, this magnetic positioning system illuminated in the latest study is also compatible with a system based on advanced technology.

 
The Global Positioning System
 

GPS, a sensitive positioning system, is based on advanced technology and is a product of intelligent design.

An examination of the pigeon's magnetic positioning system immediately puts one in mind of the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS is a satellite monitoring system used in determining the location of any object. In this system a team of at least 24 satellites is employed. The use of GPS, designed and controlled by the US Defense Department, is open to everybody and free of charge.

The system consists of three elements: space, the control and the user. The space element refers to the GPS satellites. The control element refers to ground stations in various regions of the world.

These stations monitor the satellites' course, synchronize sensitive timepieces in the satellites, and load onto the satellites the information they will transmit. The user element consists of the GPS receiver. A GPS receiver decodes the signals coming from several satellites and locates the position. This location is performed using a technique known as trilateration.
 
Trilateration is a method of determining objects' relative position using geometry. This calculation, performed with the assistance of the geometry of circles, requires at least three reference points. The logic behind these calculations can easily be grasped from the diagram below:

In the diagram to the left, imagine that you are traveling somewhere between points P1, P2 and P3 and that you wish to know your exact location. (Ignore the different colored circles at this stage. Imagine you can only see points P1, P2 and P3.) If you tell a caller "I am between points P1, P2 and P3" you have not stated your exact location. However, if you know your distance from these three points it will be possible for you to give your exact position. The following stages will be sufficient for this: the calculation of r1 reduces your possible location to the area of the pink circle. Then, the measurement of r2 reduces your possible position to one of two points, A and B. Finally, measurement of r3 firmly establishes that you are at point B. Your coordinates are thus established. The points referred to as P1, P2 and P3 in this description represent the satellites in the GPS system.
Striking Similarities
 
Striking similarities in terms of their functioning can be seen between the GPS system and homing pigeons' magnetic positioning system. Both contain an environment capable of transmitting data about a position on the Earth's surface. While data from satellites are transmitted through the atmosphere in GPS, it is thought that it is the Earth's magnetic field that performs this function in the pigeon system. Both contain systems to detect these data (signals) coming from outside; in other words panels in satellites and cells containing magnetite in the pigeon's beak. Systems that interpret these data also exist in both. In GPS, geometrical measurements are performed by computers and other digital equipment (as in the trilateration technique outlined above), whereas in pigeons the brain assumes the responsibility for interpreting the signals forwarded to it by means of sense.
 
In addition, many airline companies are today installing GPS in their planes, integrating it with their flight control systems. The fact that the pigeon cells containing magnetite have been positioned in its beak, in the same way that an aircraft's electronic flight systems are located in its nose, is a most significant similarity.
 
There is absolutely no doubt that the GPS system and all its satellites and ground control systems have been specially designed. The system is made up of components planned to serve a specific purpose and constituting a whole. The many electronic devices in the satellite and control systems work in harmony together in the light of this objective.
 
The magnetic positioning system in homing pigeons also bears such evident signs of design. The cells containing magnetite that permit interaction with the Earth's magnetic field, the nerves that transmit the data detected by these cells, and the brain that interprets all these, work in perfect harmony together. Thanks to this, the bird is able to determine the exact location of its home thousands of kilometers away with a totally accurate calculation. This is literally a perfect ability, because in terms of the thousands of kilometers traveled by the pigeon, its home is no more than a tiny speck.
 
Yet how could the system that permits such a superior location determining ability have come into being? Could coincidences, devoid of any consciousness, have given rise to the pigeon with its perfect design, endowed it with perfect physiological systems, installed the magnetite
containing cells in its beak and thus formed a flawless sensory system? Of course, not.
 
All the features in the GPS are evidence leaving no doubt that it was designed by engineers. In a similar way, a system that exhibits the same design features must also have been designed, in other words created. There is no doubt that Almighty God, the Lord of the worlds, is the Creator Who brought the pigeon into being with His infinite might and knowledge and gave it the systems enabling it to locate a point thousands of kilometers away with unerring accuracy. God reveals the following in the Qur'an:
 
He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Qur'an, 25:2)

References:
Kathleen Wong, "A Magnetic Attraction to Home," http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2004/1124/3
James Owen, "Magnetic Beaks Help Birds Navigate, Study Says," http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/11/1124_041124_magnetic_birds.html

 

A MIRACLE OF THE LIVING WORLD: COMMUNICATION AND SIGNALING IN THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS

Scientific research has revealed that throughout the living world, communication is just as important as it is to human beings. Countless living things lack the capacity for human speech, yet they employ entirely different methods in order to communicate with each other—and even with other species. Some of the most dramatic examples of this is displayed by birds. The astonishing behavior and ability to communicate that birds exhibit also totally invalidates the claims of the theory of evolution.
 
All forms of life on Earth have been created with miraculous properties and astonishing abilities. The examination of just one single species is enough to reveal hundreds of proofs of God’s magnificent creation.
 
In one verse of the Qur’an, Allah reveals that:
 
There is no creature crawling on the earth or flying creature, flying on its wings, who are not communities just like yourselves—We have not omitted anything from the Book—then they will be gathered to their Lord. (Qur’an, 6: 38)
 
The birds to which this verse draws our attention notice are one of the living communities that we need to examine and reflect upon.

There are roughly some 10,000 species of bird in the world, each of which possesses its own miraculous features. Wherever you may live, you can see a great number of these feathered creatures and can observe different and extraordinary properties in each and every one. With their attractive appearances, flawless flight mechanisms, expertise on the routes and timing of migrations, ability to build nests and altruistic behavior toward their young and to one another, birds possess countless proofs of the fact of creation. Their ability to communicate is another of these.  


Birds' Sense of Hearing


 For birds to display their talents in communicating by sound, song—and in the case of some birds, words— they require excellent hearing. At critical times in their lives, their sense of hearing becomes particularly important. Experiments have shown that in order for birds to learn the distinctive song of their own species, they need an auditory feedback system. Thanks to this system, young birds learn to compare the sounds they produce themselves with the patterns of a song they have memorized. If they were deaf, it wouldn't normally be possible for them to sing recognizable songs. (1)


 Birds' ears are well equipped for hearing, but they hear in a different way from us. For them to recognize a tune, they have to hear it in always the same octave (a series of seven notes), whereas we humans can recognize a tune even if we hear it in a different octave. Birds cannot, but can instead recognize timbre—a fundamental note combined with harmonies. The ability to recognize timbre and harmonic variations lets birds hear and reply to many diverse sounds, and sometimes even reproduce them.
 
Birds can also hear shorter notes than we can. Humans process sounds in bytes in about 1/20th of a second (2), whereas birds can distinguish these sounds in 1/200th of a second (3). This means that birds are superior at differentiating sounds that arrive in very rapid succession.(4) In other words, a bird's capacity to perceive sound is approximately ten times greater than ours; and in every note heard by a human, it can hear ten.(5) Moreover, some birds are also able to hear lower-frequency sounds than we are. Their hearing sensitivity is so finely tuned that they can even tell the difference between pieces by such famous composers as Bach and Stravinsky.
 
Birds' extremely sensitive hearing functions perfectly. Clearly, each of this sense's components is created by special design, for if any one failed to work properly, the bird would not be able to hear any sounds at all. This point also disproves the theory that hearing evolved or emerged gradually, as a result of coincidental influences.

 
Communication and Signaling in Birds


 Birds produce meaningful communications by their facial expressions, beak movements, feather ruffling, elongating their necks, crouching, bouncing, and flapping their wings. Although each species has its own body language, many different species interpret movements in the same way. For example, various species interpret an upward thrust of the beak as expressing the intention to fly, and the lowering of the breast as a warning of danger. Also, several species perceive raising the tail feathers as a threat, or displaying bright colors atop of the head as a declaration of the intent to attack. Via facial expression, birds can convey a variety of messages to those around them-negative feelings such as dislike and resentment, as well as positive ones like pleasure, enthusiasm and curiosity. (6)


Bird’s Facial Expressions


 Birds produce different facial expressions by movements of the beak, or by positioning the feathers above the beak, on the chin, or atop the head. In some species, the feathers above the eye can also move independently. Moreover, many species make a display by opening their beaks. For example, the tawny frogmouth opens its beak to reveal its large, bright green oral cavity, emphasizing the size of its beak and making it appear more intimidating. Some other species open their beaks as a form of threatening behavior, usually silently, but sometimes enhance the performance with hissing or loud breathing. (7)
 
Besides communicating by means of body language, birds produce a great variety of sounds to communicate with other members of their flock, neighbors, or family members. These range from short, simple calls to songs that are surprisingly long and complex. Sometimes birds such as the green woodpecker use different instruments or, like the American woodpecker, use special feathers to produce sound.
 
Birds also communicate through scents, although since their sense of smell is poor, their communication is based mainly on sound and sight. At times of poor visibility, as at night or in dense foliage, sound is most advantageous, and is also the ideal method for long-distance communication. If conditions are right, birdsong can be heard for up to a few kilometers.
 
In addition to song, birds also have conceptualization and communication skills. In certain circumstances, they demonstrate talents equivalent to those of children of primary-school age, learning series of words and other means of human communication through social interaction.
When alone, these parrots play vocalization games and when in the company of people, they join vocalizations together to produce new assemblages from existing sequences of speech. God, the Creator of everything on Earth and in the skies, equips them with the talents and characteristics that set them apart. Accordingly, our praises for the supreme beauty of our environment is praise that belongs to God.

 
The Language of Calls and Songs

To call to one another, birds produce sounds of extremely high frequency and strength. Only a few species such as pelicans, storks, and certain vultures are mute and have no call. The acoustic calls used by birds amongst themselves form a language of sorts. Their songs, which are longer and generally related to courtship, consist of a series of notes and usually contain melodies.


Birdsong is usually heard in spring, whereas the calls, much simpler than songs, are used by both sexes and heard throughout the year. Birdcalls allow swift communication via simple messages without a great expenditure of energy. (8) These calls’ main functions can be listed as follows:
 
- To establish a bird’s species
- To indicate its bird's gender
- To reveal its location
- To demarcate and defend its territory
- To announce and advertise a source of food
- To let young birds recognize their own parents
- To keep the flock together when traveling
- To warn of the presence of an enemy
- To intimidate an enemy
- For courtship
 
To mark the changeover of responsibility for nesting duties such as incubating or feeding
To practice and perfect their songs

 
Bird Sounds Are Not Haphazard


 Usually, birdsong is not composed of randomly produced sounds. Songs are exceptionally diverse melodies of specific meaning, sung for a purpose, and are much more complex than the calls used for signaling. They are generally used by males to advertise and defend a territory, or in courtship. It is also believed that songs serve a social function. When a pair is building their nest, they also establish communication by song. Experiments on caged birds have also demonstrated that birds find it easier to learn songs if another bird is present, but out of sight, in another cage. (9)


 Male and female songbirds have different brain structures, particularly in the regions related to sound production. With many songbird species, the males can sing, but the females cannot. The males use "song" to call their mates or designate a tree, pole, or electrical cable as a place to perch. Each species sings a song with its own characteristics, but any given species' songs display variations according to age, sex, particular time of year, and geographical location-appropriate for the environment in which they live. For example, birds that live in meadows use "songs of flight." Similarly, ones that live in the dense foliage of rain forests or reed thickets have loud voices to compensate for reduced visibility.

 
God’s Miracle of Inspiration


 As we have explained, birds employ the most suitable methods of communication for their habitats and objectives. There is no question of every bird being able to know which song it should sing under which circumstances, or to calculate on its own the meaning and purpose of the song it will sing. According to the Darwinist way of thinking, however, all the birds and other living creatures that we see around us, , all the abilities that they exhibit and all the beauty that they display, are the products of blind chance. Yet obviously, the consciousness and design that pervade life and living things at every moment cannot be explained in terms of a series of mere coincidences.
 
Living things devoid of reason and judgment can exhibit such behavior because such intelligence and consideration of the future are inspired in them by God. God creates every living thing with the characteristics it requires and inspires its appropriately intelligent behavior. All living things perform only those functions that God inspires in them, serving as a means whereby we are able to witness His might. In one verse of the Qur’an, God reveals:
 
Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and Earth glorifies God, as do the birds with their outspread wings? Each one knows its prayer and glorification. God knows what they do. (Qur’an, 24:41)

References:
1- http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/bionb424/students/mdr17/neurophysiology.htm
2- http://www.earthlife.net/birds/hearing.html
3- http://www.earthlife.net/birds/hearing.html
4- Theodore Xenophon Barber, Ph. d., The Human Nature of Birds, USA, 1993, p. 36.
5- Ibid., p. 37.
6- Ibid., , p. 34.
7- Lesley J. Rogers & Gisela Kaplan, Songs, Roars and Rituals: Communication In Birds, Mammals and Other Animals, USA, 2000, pp. 78-79.
8- http://whalonlab.msu.edu/Student_ Webpages/Bird_song/page
9- http://whalonlab.msu.edu/Student_ Webpages/Bird_song/page

 

 

MIGRATION AND ORIENTATION IN ANIMALS

There are many migratory animals in nature: Birds, butterflies, turtles, salmon and eels are only a few of them. The distances these animals travel during migration is expressed in thousands, even in tens of thousands of kilometers. Migration requires enormous amounts of energy.
At times, birds fly thousands of kilometers without landing at all. Furthermore, migrating animals do not always come across with favorable weather conditions. Although these tiny living beings struggle against rain, storms, and similar other hardship, they manage to reach to their destination.
 
Before proceeding with the migration stories of birds, some consideration on the concept of orientation in living beings will provide us with a better understanding of the subject.BLE
 
Navigation refers to the series of methods employed to plot a route to reach a destination. This definition already embodies the meticulously planned nature of migration. When one considers thousands of birds in a flock migrating in perfect harmony, it becomes more comprehensible that enormous skills would be required for such a planned movement. The question is how birds acquired these skills? It is evident that birds cannot devise these intelligent tactics themselves, the nature of which is better understood when compared to skills of human beings.
 
A comparison will provide a better understanding of this issue: imagine that a man, all alone and completely non-equipped, sets off to a trip of 5 thousand kilometers. During the course of this trip, any answer he would give to any question regarding his position and direction without the help of a compass, map or a similar apparatus would merely be an estimate. Based on estimated values, one can never reach a destination, and in case he gets lost, he can never locate his position. In the case of birds, however, we are not talking about a distance of 100-200 kilometers. Unlike birds or other migratory animals, man cannot cover thousands of kilometers. Let alone crossing kilometers, he is likely to lose his way even when he goes to a different neighborhood.


 What kinds of things does man need to find his direction? If he does not have an apparatus, then, by observing the location of the stars or looking at plants turning to sun, he can make a general estimation about his position. This is, however, only possible if he knows how to interpret them. Still, however, he can never attain 100 % accuracy in his conclusions. For a definite result, he certainly needs a specific apparatus like a map or a compass, which may still prove to be insufficient in certain cases. Today, technological breakthroughs in finding direction have enabled precision in this field. For instance, a global positioning system called GPS makes use of satellites in finding direction.
 
The GPS system ensures a precise determination of a receiver's position on earth through signals sent by specific satellites on the earth's orbit. The GPS system yields rapid and reliable results since it operates via satellites. By the same token, birds can achieve fast and accurate results in finding direction. That birds innately accomplish the operations, which are only achievable by the support of high technology, is utterly amazing. It is obvious that the abilities of birds in finding direction are specially given to them so that they can migrate.

****

Why do birds migrate, how do they make very long-distance flights without ever getting lost, and what determines the timing of migration? All these questions are among the issues even today science fails to provide an answer. Formerly, it was thought that birds migrate on account of seasonal changes. That is to say, some scientists claimed that once there was no migration but some seasonal changes gave way to it.


However, migration is by no means an incident which could be affected upon a sudden decision. It requires some special skills like orientation, food storage and the ability to fly for long periods. It is impossible for an animal not possessing these characteristics to transform into a migratory animal. Not surprisingly, experiments addressing this issue revealed that migration is unrelated to any seasonal changes and it is merely a component of the established ecological equilibrium of the earth.
 
One of the experiments made to address this issue was the following: garden nightingales were subjected to experiments in a lab where internal conditions such as temperature and light could be varied. Internal conditions were arranged differently from external conditions. For instance, if it was winter outside, a spring climate was created in the laboratory, to match the migration seasons.
 
Under these conditions scientists anticipated the birds to organize themselves for migration. The birds stored fat for fuel, just as they do when time for migration approaches. Although birds organized themselves according to the artificial season, and prepared themselves as if they were going to migrate, they did not set out to migrate before it was time. They observed the season outside and did not migrate.
 
Considering this behavior of these birds, some questions occur to the mind like "What makes birds determine for migration?" and "What are the factors in force determining the time for migration?".
 
According to evolutionists, living things have "body clocks" that help them to know the time in a closed environment and to differentiate seasonal changes. They maintain that birds behave in compliance with this "body clock". They decide to emigrate when this clock "rings". At this point, many questions arise: What is the origin of this clock? In which part of the body is it located? Is this "body clock" the same in every living being? What would happen if this clock were out of order or stayed behind? In this case, would birds simply stop migrating? No, such problems never occur in birds' migration, nor this clock ever becomes out of order. That is simply because such a clock does not exist. It is actually not an imaginary clock that makes the birds determine the time of migration, but the system God created for them.


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Birds consume great energy in flight. They need more fuel than all sea-dwelling and land-dwelling animals. They obtain this energy through quite different methods.
 
For instance, prior to migration, migratory birds get prepared and start to store fat in their bodies. Some bird species fly longer distances than others. For these species, only storing fat may not be sufficient. In such cases, they find another solution and meet their energy needs by resting at certain intervals.
 
Terns that fly polar -to -polar distances set a good example for this: They cover 30-40 thousands of kilometers during their migration.
 
Which methods do terns use to store energy so that they can fly 30 thousand kilometers? To see how these birds deal with the energy problem, scientists observed them for long periods of time. Their researches led to the conclusion that, besides storing fat, terns also save energy by landing on floating icebergs.
 
The techniques employed by birds to minimize energy consumption during migration are not limited to these alone.


Using different "flight techniques", some migratory birds reduce their energy consumption to zero. For instance, storks go up as high as 2 thousand meters with rising warm air currents, and then glide along swiftly to the next warm air current without beating their wings.

 
A similar flight technique is used by albatrosses.


 These birds, which spend 92% of their lives on the sea, have wingspans of up to 3,5 meters. The most important characteristic of albatrosses is their flight style: they can fly for hours without beating their wings at all. To do so, they glide along in the air keeping their wings constant by making use of the wind.
 
One point deserves consideration at this stage. It requires a great deal of energy to keep wings with a wingspan of 3.5 meters constantly open. A comparison would be helpful to clarify the enormousness of their energy needs. A man can hardly keep his arms open for a few minutes.

Albatrosses, however, can stay in this position for hours.


 This is due to the special anatomical system they are bestowed with from the moment of their birth. During flight, the wings of the albatross are blocked. Therefore, it does not need to use any muscular power. Wings are lifted only by muscle layers. This greatly helps the bird during its flight. By means of this special design albatrosses have by birth, they can fly without any difficulty.


 Flying for hours by making exclusive use of wind provides an unlimited energy source for it. For instance, a 10-kilo-albatross loses only 1% of its body weight while it travels for 1,000 kms. This is indeed a very small rate. Men have manufactured gliders taking albatrosses as a model and by making use of their fascinating flight technique.
 
While covering long distances, albatrosses make use of the best wind positions. In the face of counter air currents, they prefer to fly at low altitudes above regions where winds are blocked by mountains, hills and trees. To make use of the wind pushing from the back, they go up to high altitudes where winds are strong. Albatrosses fly in perfect harmony with winds.
 
Another flight technique used by bird flocks is the "V" type flight formation. In this technique, big strong birds at the front function as shields against counter air currents and lead the way for the weaker. With such an organization, a saving of 23% is achieved in the flock in general.
Employing such flight techniques for the purpose of saving energy requires being knowledgeable about the laws of aerodynamics. However, the being that employ these techniques are only birds. It is unlikely that they can make such plans and devise so complicated mechanisms with their own wisdom and will.
 
At this point, we face an obvious truth: the One who commands them to behave so by designing them in the most perfect fashion is God, the owner of all knowledge.


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Flying demands a lot of skills and many conditions other than described until now. Some migratory birds fly at very high altitudes. For instance geese can fly at an altitude of 8000 m. Well, have you ever thought how these birds manage to respire at such high altitudes? Normally, at such high altitudes, let alone managing a difficult task like flying, even breathing becomes impossible. For compulsory flights at high altitudes, man needs to take additional precautions. For instance, in airplanes, there exists a special pressure system balancing the interior pressure.


Climbers, on the other hand, can only climb high altitudes such as the Everest Mountain by the help of oxygen masks. Birds, however, can fly in those altitudes without problems, which is something quite difficult for people. That is because the lungs of birds, which are already equipped with very special respiratory systems, are created in a way to enable them to fly just like their other organs.
 
Another subject that arouses interest about birds is how they are unaffected by storms.
 
It is true that birds are often not affected by storms, because they stay away from stormy regions. But, while flying fast, how do they sense a storm breaking out way ahead of them? Some ornithologists who made research into birds' sense of hearing, observed that some birds can hear sounds of extremely small frequencies, which diffuse to great distances in the atmosphere. Migratory birds can therefore hear a storm breaking out over a far away mountain or thunder over an ocean hundreds of kilometers ahead and change their route to avoid an approaching storm.
 
Owing to all these properties, birds can migrate to very distant regions. As we mentioned earlier, migratory birds are very knowledgeable about their destination and they reach there without being confused. But how do they accomplish this?
 
For example, a pigeon flies 1500 kilometers to return to its nest with no difficulty at all. Furthermore, it does not matter whether this journey takes place during daytime or at night since pigeons are equipped with the world's best quality compass. Birds have seemingly advanced "magnetic receptor" systems enabling them to find their way by making use of the magnetic field of the earth.
 
As known, the earth has a magnetic field. The direction of this magnetic field is the same anywhere on earth, but its intensity changes according to regions. While determining their direction, pigeons can measure both the magnetic direction and intensity of the area they fly over by their natural compass (!). They can even perceive a 2 % variation in the magnetic field of the earth.
 
Scientists fail to have a complete understanding of the structure of this compass. In fact, where this compass rests within the bird's body remains to be a mystery. Based on subsequent research, it is assumed that a gland located in the mid -brain holds control of this system. But how does this piece of flesh, weighing only a few grams, can measure the magnetic field of the earth?
 
Let's look at the phenomena of flight from a more scientific viewpoint: in the brain of a bird, there exists a central nervous system for finding direction. This system informs the bird about the direction towards which it has to beat its wings. The question is; can birds coincidentally possess such a complicated system? Did birds delay their migration until this system coincidentally formed?
 
Certainly, the formation of such a complicated system as a result of a series of coincidences is logically and scientifically implausible. Moreover, it is also implausible that birds can wait for millions of years for this "so-called" coincidental formation of a system vitally important for them. That is because birds which are unequipped with such a system cannot migrate and, even if they attempted to migrate, being unable to find their direction and facing severe weather conditions, they would lose their lives and become extinct in a short while.
 
Such a flawless system, which could by no means be formed by coincidences, is granted to those living beings by their Creator, the One Who creates them from nothing with their flawless and excellent structure and equips them with all these perfect traits.
 
This fact is related in the Qur'an as follows:
 
He is God - the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise (Surat Al-Hashr: 24)


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 Subsequent research regarding how birds find their direction brought along numerous questions. Even technology of today fails to explain the mechanisms through which direction finding systems in birds operate. Basing the origin of these perfectly operating systems on the random mechanisms and coincidences of the theory of evolution would be the most unwise thing to do.
 
The theoreticians of evolution, who even fail to explain how a single feather came into existence, cannot bring any explanation for the miraculous "natural compass" inherent in birds.
 
Every research on living beings reveals hundreds of delicately planned, flawlessly designed traits. All of these lead to a truth that every reasonable person can easily recognize. This is the fact that no trait peculiar to any existing living being can ever come into existence by chance. As we dwell on the details of structures and traits in living beings, we will see that they are composed of interrelated, meticulously planned, orderly and complex systems. It becomes obvious that the evolutionist scenario asserting that coincidences gave rise to these systems by adding new components to them over time is improbable.


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 Let us outline what we have related so far: migratory birds can all alone overcome many difficulties which seem to be impossible under normal conditions. While doing this, the only thing they make use is the perfect technology they intrinsically possess in their bodies. This is a high technology indeed; it ensures that the bird flying at very high altitudes does not die of oxygen deficiency, get tired of beating its wings across a route of thousands of kilometers, and fall down in the middle of the ocean, become confused while migrating from one hemi-sphere to another while helping it to hear a breaking storm far away and change its direction.
 
Migration is specially designed for birds and it has been practiced by them for millions of years.


 
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It is not only the birds that have amazing migration stories.

The migration story of Monarch butterflies, which live in southeast Canada, is more complex than that of the birds..


Monarch butterflies normally live for only 5-6 weeks after they develop from caterpillar. Four generations of Monarch butterflies live within a year. Three of these four generations live in spring and summertime.
 
With the coming of autumn, the situation changes. Migration starts in autumn and the generation that migrates, lives much longer than the other generations that lived in the same year. The Monarchs that migrate are the fourth generation in the year. Indeed, the Monarchs that migrate to the south live six months longer than the previous generations. They need to live exactly this long to complete their journey and return.


 Interestingly enough, the migration starts exactly on the night of the autumn equinox.
 
The butterflies that go down to the south do not disperse after they pass across the Tropic of Cancer and leave the cold weather behind. After migrating over half of the American continent, millions of butterflies settle down in the middle of Mexico. Here the ridges of volcanic mountains are covered with a great variety of flora. Located at a height of 3,000 meters, this place is warm enough for the subsistence of the butterflies.


For a period of four months, from December to March, they eat nothing. As the fat stored in their bodies nourishes them, they only drink water.
 
Flowers that bloom in the spring are quite important for the Monarchs. After a four-month fast, for the first time, in the spring they give themselves a nectar feast. They now have stored enough energy to return to North America. This generation, which lives a two-month life span extended to eight months, is no different from the three earlier generations in other respects. They mate at the end of March before setting out to their journey. On the equinox, the colony starts flying back to the north. Soon after they complete their journey and arrive in Canada, they die.


However, before they die, they give birth to a new generation, which is necessary for the perpetuation of their species.
 
The newly born generation is the first generation of the year and lives about one and a half months long. Then comes the second and third generations. When it comes to the fourth generation, migration starts over again. This generation will live six months longer than the others will, and the chain will continue in the same way.
 
This interesting system provokes many questions: how is that the fourth of every four generations lives six months longer? How does this long-lived generation always coincide with winter and has done so for thousands of years? How do these butterflies always start migrating at the equinox, and how do they attune themselves so sensitively, or are they using a calendar?
 
No doubt, there are no answers to these questions through "evolution" or other variants on that theory. The butterflies must have borne these interesting characteristics from the time they came into existence. If the first fourth generation of Monarchs on earth did not have the characteristic to live long, then all the butterflies would die within that winter and these animals would become extinct.
 
Monarchs must have borne this extraordinary characteristic from the time they were created. "Coincidences" unquestionably do not have such a faculty as could arrange the generations of the animal according to migration. On the other hand, it is also unlikely that butterflies decided to make their fourth generations live longer and arranged their metabolisms, DNA, and genes accordingly.
 
It is obvious enough that monarchs are created with such a trait.
 
It is God, the possessor of All-Knowledge, All-Power, and the Almighty, Who has created the birds in the sky, ants on the ground, giraffes, lions, in brief, all the living beings on earth and inspired them their individual tasks. Through displaying the astonishing traits He created in living beings to man, God commands man to ponder over them:

In the 41st verse of Surat an-Nur, God states as follows:

"Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and earth glorifies God, as do the birds with their outspread wings? Each one knows its prayer and glorification. God knows what they do."

 

THE PERFECT SOCIAL SYSTEM OF ANTS

Ants live in colonies and a perfect division of labor exists amongst them. When we take a closer look at their systems, we shall also see that they have a pretty interesting social structure. It will also come to our attention that they are capable of sacrifice at a much higher level than humans are. One of the most interesting points is that - compared to humans - they do not know the concepts such as the rich-poor discrimination and the fight for power that are observed in our societies.
 
Many scientists, who for years have been doing extensive research on ants, have not been able to clarify the subject of their advanced social behavior. Caryle P. Haskins, Ph.D., the president of the Carnegie Institute at Washington has this to say:
 
After 60 years of observation and study, I still marvel at how sophisticated the ants' social behavior is. …The ants thus make a beautiful model for our use in studying the roots of animal behavior. (National Geographic, vol.165, no.6, p. 775)


 Some colonies of ants are so extensive with respect to population and living area, that it is impossible to explain how they can form a perfect order over such a vast area. Therefore, it is not easy not to concur with Dr. Haskins.
 
As an example of these large colonies we can give the species of ant, called Formica Yessensis that lives on the Ishikari coast of Hokkaido.
This ant colony lives in 45,000 interconnected nests over an area of 2.7 square kilometers. The colony, which is composed of approximately 1,080,000 queens and 306,000,000 workers, has been named the "Super colony" by the researchers. (Bert Hölldobler-Edward O.Wilson, The Ants, Harvard University Press, 1990, p. 1.) It has been discovered that all production tools and food are exchanged in an orderly fashion within the colony.
 
It is very hard to explain how the ants have maintained this order without any problems, considering the vast area they are living in. We must not forget that various security forces are needed for enforcing law and maintaining social order, even in a civilized country with a low population density. And there is an administrative staff leading and managing these units. Sometimes, it does not become possible to maintain the required order without problems despite all these intense efforts.
 
Yet in ant colonies there is no need felt for police, gendarmerie or guards. If we consider that actually the duty of the queens, whom we think of as the leaders of the colonies, is just to maintain the species, they do not have a leader or a governor. There is thus no hierarchy based on a chain of command amongst them. Then who is it that lays down this order and maintains its continuity?
 
The fact that ants can establish such a great and perfect order is proof that they are acting on the inspiration of a certain "supervisor".
The verse below fully confirms that God is the master and supervisor of everything and that every living creature acts on His inspiration:
 
I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no living being He does not hold by the forelock and inspect! My Lord is on a straight path. (Surah Hud: 56)

 

SPECIALIST IN MANY WAYS: THE KOALA

Animals have various miraculous features and each one of them is a miracle of creation. One of these animals is the koala. The koala feeding on eucalyptus leaves has various splendid features that ensure a comfortable life for it on trees.
 
The bodily design of the koala, a native of Australia, has flawless details that it needs in the kind of environment it lives. For instance, its limbs and claws ensure an easy climb to eucalyptus tress with wide trunks. The two fingers in its forepaws are separate from its other three fingers. When compared with the human hand, it can be said that the koala has two thumbs. These thumbs, which are quite different from other fingers, allows the koala to grip more securely.
 
Four of the limbs of the koala, with its claws that can stick into the soft and smooth trunks of trees like a hook, grasp tree branches with ease as if we grasp a stick, and render a comfortable climb for the koala. However, the features, of the koala, are not limited to these. Here are some of them:

 
A Miniature Bio-chemical Plant

Eucalyptus leaves have a very high fiber and low protein content. These leaves are rich in strong odorous oil, phenolic combinations and materials similar to cyanide that are inedible and even poisonous for many mammals. These materials, which are poisonous for other animals, lose their poisonous effect when it comes to the koala’s body, for the koala is equipped with a digestive system having a very special anatomy and physiology. 

Just as in the case of other herbivorous mammals, the koala cannot digest cellulose, the major component of eucalyptus. However, this task is accomplished by cellulose-digesting microorganisms in the cecum of the koala.
 
The koala’s cecum, which is quite long, opens to large intestine. Indeed, the cecum makes up 20% of the total intestine. Its length is 1.3m long. (Hume, I. D. (1999). Marsupial nutrition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
 
The cecum is the most interesting part of the koala’s digestive system. The access of the leaves to the digestive system is delayed right at this point. Thanks to this delay, the microorganisms in the cecum transform the cellulose into a structure from which the koala can benefit. With this structure, the koala’s cecum can be likened to a bio-chemical plant. While cellulose is being treated in this plant, oil and phenolic combinations, which are poisonous chemicals, are rendered ineffective in the liver.
 
As is known, the unique food of the koala is eucalyptus leaves. This means, the animal meets its carbohydrate requirements entirely by cellulose digested by microorganisms. In the absence of microorganisms, it is obvious that the koala cannot survive. The One Who creates these two creatures in perfect harmony is the All-Mighty Allah.
 
Allah is aware of all the needs of the living-beings. He creates them perfectly. Such examples prove Allah’s infinite power to us. In one of the verses in the Qur’an, Allah relates that those who can use their intellect can understand this fact:
 
He said, “The Lord of the East and the West and everything between them if you used your intellect.” (Surat ash-Shu‘ara’: 28)



The Koala and the Balance of Water


In the language of Aborigines, the Australian natives, the word “koala” means “the one who does not drink water.” Indeed, the koala does not drink water, for it feeds entirely on eucalyptus leaves.
 
The eucalyptus leaves has a water content of around 40% to 65%. This ratio never drops below 40%. Because plants with less than 40% water content dry up and die. Thanks to this feature, eucalyptus leaves provide the necessary amount of water to the koala.
 
No doubt, this feature of the leaves is not sufficient alone. The koala’s body structure utilizing the water in the eucalyptus leaves is extremely important.
 
The system in the kidneys that checks water loss of the koala’s body has a flawless design. Yet, what is more important is the fact that the digestive system of the koala has the feature of holding water. This way, only a small amount of the water is thrown out from the koala’s body.
 
Thanks to the kind of digestive system that can hold water, the koala can rely on excess amounts of leaves that do not contain high amounts of water. If the digestive system of the koala lacked this feature, then the animal had to be down on earth, being in a constant search for water.


This means, the animal, which lacks proper features to survive anywhere except for trees, had to face many threats. However, thanks to its special bodily structure, the koala never meets such difficulties.

 
The Koala’s Protective Fur


 The main factor that determines the koala’s body temperature is its fur. The fur is created in a way to ensure perfect heat insulation:
 
The intensity of feathers in the fur may reach around 55 feathers per square millimeter. The fur in the back of the animal covers 77% of the body surface. The feathers on the stomach, on the other hand, are only half as intensive as the back fur, and it covers only 13% of the body surface.
 
The length of feathers changes from season to season. In summertime, the difference between long feathers and short ones become even more.
 
The thick fur on the back is darker than the loose ones on the stomach; this way, the koala collects and insulates the sun’s heat. Despite the loose stomach feathers, the koala can adjust the grade of insulation by steepening them.
 
On windy days, the koalas on trees give only their middle-backs against the wind, and they curl-up into the shape of a ball. As the intensity of the wind increases, they bend their ears forward. This way, none of their limbs becomes vulnerable to the air stream. The back fur of the koala has the highest grade of insulation. It’s insulation is very close to the grade of insulation of the animals living in the Northern Pole.
 
The wind has only a weak effect upon this strong fur on the back of the animal. Under heavy wind, the fur can maintain a constant body temperature. Indeed, even on very cold days and under heavy winds, the fur’s heat protection capacity drops only by 14%. Such data indicates that for an animal living on the top branches of trees in forests, they are ensured a perfect protection against cold.
 
The koala’s metabolism rate is also regulated in a way to complement the heat insulation of the fur. The metabolism of the koala is quite slow; it is only 74% of other animals’ metabolism rate. With such a slow rate, the animal also has a low water loss.
 
The Koala is a Great Deadlock for Evolutionists…
 
Let’s remember the features of the koala:
 
- The koala has a body structure that helps it to easily climb trees and live a comfortable life there.
 
- Thanks to the special design of its digestive system, the koala can get enough food and water from the eucalyptus leaves they find in ample amounts.
 
- It has a physiological system that eliminates the poisonous effects of eucalyptus oils.
 
- It has a metabolism that ensures maximum use of water taken from leaves.
 
All of these features are required for the survival of an animal such as the koala that lives on trees. Could it be that these features, which are essential for the survival of the koala, have come into existence by chance, as evolutionists assert?
 
A man of wisdom, who is able to think without prejudice and objectively, has only one answer to this question.
 
No. It is the All-Mighty Allah Who has created the koala with its flawless features. Allah reveals His infinite compassion and mercy through these features He grants to all living beings. Our Lord informs us about the miracles He creates in living beings as follows:
 
And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty. (Surat al-Jathiyya: 4)

 

SPIDERS' FISHING TECHNIQUES

Some spiders hunt in even the most unexpected environments. For example, the hunting field of the water-spider Dolomedes is the surface of water. This spider is mostly to be found in shallow places such as marshes and ditches.
 
The water-spider, which lacks good eyesight, spends most of its time by the side of the water spinning threads and spreading them over its surroundings. These serve two functions at the same time: they are a kind of warning to other spiders, setting the limits of its own territory, and they also form an escape route in the event of unexpected danger.


 The spider's most frequently used hunting method is to put four of its legs on the water while the other four hold on to dry land. While doing this, it employs a most clever technique to avoid sinking. The spider covers those of its legs which will go into the water with a water-proof coating by passing them through its fangs. It then approaches the edge of the water. Pushing its body down with great care, it moves on to the surface of the water. It places its fangs and feelers under the water in such a way as not to disturb the surface. It waits for a living creature to approach, with its eyes looking around it and its legs feeling for vibrations in the water. To feed itself, the spider needs to find prey at least the size of the "Golyan" fish.
 
When the spider is hunting, it stays motionless until the fish comes within 1.5 centimeters of its jaws. Then it suddenly enters the water, catches the fish in its legs, and bites it with its venomous fangs. Then, in order to stop the fish, which is much bigger than it, from dragging it under the water, it immediately turns upside down. The venom quickly takes effect. It not only kills the prey, but also dissolves the prey's internal organs, turning them into a kind of soup and making them easy to digest. When the prey is dead, the spider drags it on to the shore and feeds. (Science and Technology Gorsel Science and Technology Encyclopedia, p. 494, 495)
 
At this point various questions spring to mind. How did the spider come by that wax which stops it sinking? How did it learn to coat its legs with it against the risk of sinking? How did the spider come by the wax's formula and how did it make it? The spider certainly did not bring about all of these things-each one of which bears the mark of intelligence-of its own volition. Like all other living creatures, this species of spider acts in such an intelligent way, is capable of making such a plan and putting it into practice by inspiration from God. In one of His verses, God states that He gives every creature its own provision:
 
There is no creature on the earth which is not dependent upon God for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies. They are all in a Clear Book. (Surah Hud: 6)

 

THE SUPERIOR FLIGHT SYSTEM IN INSECTS

How can a midge manages to beat its wings 1,000 times a second?
How does a flea leap hundreds of times its own height?
Why does a butterfly fly forwards when its wings beat up and down?
The fly is one of the creatures referred to in the Qur’an, as only one of the many animals that reveal the infinite knowledge of our Lord. Almighty Allah speaks of this matter in verse 73 of Surat al-Hajj:
 
O humanity! A likeness has been made, so listen to it carefully. Those you call upon apart from Allah are not even able to create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something away from them, they cannot get it back from it. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought! (Surat al-Hajj: 73)

Despite recent research, despite all the technologies that Allah has placed at the disposal of humanity, a great many characteristics of living things still preserve their miraculous aspects. As in all things that Allah has created in the body of a fly gives abundant evidence of a superior knowledge. By considering its intricacy, any thinking person can once again reflect on his deep respect for Allah and devotion to Him.


Some of the investigations that scientists have carried out on the flight systems of flies and other small insects are detailed below. The conclusion emerging from this is that no haphazard, trial-and-error force or entity other than Allah can have created the complexity of even a fly.


 The flight muscles of many insects such as the locust and dragonfly contract powerfully as a result of stimuli emitted by the nerves that control their every movement. In the locust, for example, signals sent by each nerve cause the flight muscles to contract. By working alternately, not against each another, two complementary groups of muscles, the so-called elevators and depressors, allow the wings to rise up and beat down. Locusts beat their wings 12 to 15 times a second, and in order to be able to fly smaller insects must beat theirs even more rapidly.

Honeybees, wasps and flies beat their wings from 200 to 400 times a second, and in midges and some parasites only 1 millimeter (0.03 inch) in size, that rate rises to an astounding 1,000 times a second! Wings beating too fast for the human eye to see have been created with a special structure in order to exhibit such sustained performance.
 
A nerve is able to send at most 200 signals a second. Then how can a small insect able to beat its wings 1,000 times a second? Research has established that in these insects, there is no one-to-one relationship between signals from the nerves and frequency of wing beats.


Bluebottle flies beat their wings 200 times a second, but their nerve and muscle structures are very different from those of locusts. Only one signal comes from the nerve for every 10 wing beats. In addition, these so-called “fibrous muscles” work very differently compared to locusts.
Nerve impulses regulate only the muscles’ preparations for flight. Once the muscles achieve a specific tension, they contract of their own accord.
 
In these special systems, created independently in the body of every insect, there is not the slightest irregularity. Their nerves never emit an incorrect signal, and the insects’ muscles always interpret them correctly.
 
In such species as flies and bees, the muscles that allow flight are not even attached to the wing base! Instead, they attach to the chest by joints that serve as a kind of hinge, while the muscles that lift the wing upwards are attached to the upper and lower surfaces of the chest.
When these muscles are contracted, the chest surface flattens and draws the wing base down. The lateral surface of the wing provides a support function and permits the wings to rise. The muscles establishing downward movement are not attached directly to the wing, but operate along the length of the chest. When these muscles are contracted, the chest is retracted in the opposite direction, and the wings are thus drawn downwards.
 
The wing joint is formed of a special protein known as resilin, which possesses superb elasticity. Since its features are far superior to those of natural or synthetic rubber, chemical engineers are trying to reproduce this substance, in laboratories. In flexing and contracting, resilin is able to store almost all of the energy exerted on it; and when the force pressing on it is lifted, it is able to give back all that energy.
 
As a result, resilin is up to 96% efficient. During wing lift, some 85% of the energy expended is stored for later; this same energy is then re-used in the downward movement that provides lift and propels the insect forward. Its chest walls and muscles have been created with a special structure to make possible this accumulation of energy. However, the energy is actually stored in the joints consisting of resilin.
 
It’s of course impossible for an insect, by means of its own efforts, to equip itself with such an extraordinary mechanism for flight. The infinite intelligence and might of Allah has created this special resilin in the insects’ bodies.
 
For smooth flight, straight up-and-down wing movement alone is not sufficient.. In order to be able to provide lift and propulsive force, the wings must also have to change their angle of motion during every beat. Insects’ wings possess a particular rotational flexibility, depending on the species, which is provided by their so-called direct flight muscles (or DFMs, for short) that produce the forces needed for flight.
 
When insects seek to climb higher in the air, they increase their wing angle by contracting still further these muscles between the wing joints.


Fast-frame and stop-motion photographs have shown that during flight, the wings follow an elliptical course and that for each wing’s cycle, its angle alters systematically. This variation is caused by the changing movements of the direct muscles and the wings’ attachment to the body.
 
The greatest problem faced by very small insect species during flight is air resistance. For them, sheer air density becomes an obstacle for these creatures that can’t be underestimated. Moreover, a restrictive layer around the wing causes the air to clingto the wings, leading to a loss in flight efficiency. In order to be able to overcome that air resistance, flies such as Forcipomya, whose wings are no more than 1 millimeter wide, must beat them 1,000 times a second.
 
Scientists believe that theoretically, even this speed is insufficient to keep these insects aloft, and that they must employ some other additional system. In fact, Anarsia, a kind of parasite, makes use of a method known as “beat and shake.” When its wings reach the highest point in their lift, they strike against each another and then open down again. As the wings, with their string vein, open the front air current first sets up a vortex around the wings and assist with the wing beat lift force.
 
Many species of insects, the locusts included, take note of visual data such as the line of the horizon to determine their direction of flight and eventual destination. For determining their position, flies have been created with an even more extraordinary structure. . These insects have only a single pair of wings, but to the rear of each, there is a knob-shaped lobe known as the halter. Although the halters produce no lift force, they vibrate together with the front wings. When the fly changes its direction of flight, these wing extensions prevent it from deviating off course.
 
All the information provided here results from studies into the flight techniques of just three or four insect species. Bear in mind that the total number of insect species on Earth is around 10 million. Considering all these remaining millions of species, along with the countless features they contain, one must increase still further one’s amazement at the infinite might of Allah.


 
A Solution to Venous Disorders from the Flea Gene


 Scientists have succeeded in separating out the resilin gene from fruit flies and managed to reproduce this protein naturally by injecting the gene into a Escherichia coli bacteria.
 
In the course of one study carried out by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), scientists who succeeded in identifying the gene that produces insects’ resilin also identified a powerful polymer that may prove useful in the treatment of vein diseases. Studies that began in the 1960s, concentrating on the desert locust and dragonfly, were a powerful factor in advancing this most important step.
 
Resilin, which also gives fleas the ability to make their enormous leaps, gives these and other insects an astonishing capability of movement. Thanks to this substance, fleas are able to jump many hundreds of times their own height and some flies are able to beat their wings over 200 times a second.
 
The protein obtained from resilin is far better than the highest-quality rubber products in its ability to resist pressure and revert to its former shape. Continuing experiments on artificial resilin show that the protein still maintains these features.
 
Scientists state their belief that the polymer obtained from cloning insects’ genes can be employed in a variety of very different fields, from medicine to industry. But perhaps the most important of these applications will be treating arterial disease in humans. Because resilin resembles the protein elastin in human veins, scientists hope that their studies will endow veins with renewed elasticity.
 
The British Professor Roger Greenhalgh states that “This research [into resilin] seems to be at a very early stage, but if we could take something good out of the elasticity of the flea that benefits humans, that would be most impressive.”1
 
References:
"Synthesis and properties of cross linked recombinant pro-resilin,"; by Christopher M. Elvin, Andrew G. Carr, Mickey G. Huson, Jane M. Maxwell, Roger D. Pearson, Tony Vuocolo, Nancy E. Liyou, Darren C. C. Wong, David J. Merritt and Nicholas E. Dixon, Nature 437, 999-1002 (13 October 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature04085; "Flea protein may repair arteries" BBC News, October 12, 2005

 

THE SURVIVAL TACTICS OF POLAR ANIMALS

Emperor Penguins

Emperor penguins are able to dive to depths of 500 meters (1,640 feet) for up to 20 minutes with no adverse effects to their respiration or blood pressure. They also possess the ability to adapt to these conditions in different ways. While diving, they are able to lower their heartbeats from 200 a minute to only 60, thus allowing them to store extra myoglobin.

How Can Penguins Hold Their Breath for So Long?

Myoglobin is a protein present at high levels in these birds’ muscles. These myoglobin proteins bind to themselves high numbers of oxygen molecules. In other words, the penguin conserves the oxygen it will need not in the air held in its lungs, but directly inside its muscles.  This lets penguins swim underwater for long periods and to dive as deep as they wish, without relying on the breathed-in air held in their lungs..

Why Do They Not Suffer from the Bends?

Penguins are able to continue swimming even when the oxygen in their blood drops to the lowest levels. Human beings suffer from the bends under such conditions. The level in question is 20 mm Hg for penguins and 25 mm Hg for humans. However, scientists have been unable to explain how penguins can to overcome this in the water without being affected by low levels of oxygen in the blood.

How Can They Go Without Food for 65 Days?

Male penguins have a secret that lets them survive without eating anything for 65 days, until the females arrive to take of the young in order to protect their eggs: they possess a structure capable of blocking their digestive systems..

Their Magnificent Diving Costumes

Adult penguins on the ice eat nothing for months until after they shedd their coats in the summer. All their old feathers are shed, and new ones emerge from underneath. The result is a windproof, insulated and waterproof diving suit that prevents  cold—whether from icy wind or frigid water— reaching their skin. The most striking feature of  their new plumage is that it appears just when the penguins need it most— when the time to migrate has arrived.

Brief Facts from the Pole

In the middle of winter, daylight at the North Pole last for only three hours. In order to protect themselves from the freezing cold during the other 21 hours, penguins huddle up against one another in the dark.
By huddling up to one another, the male penguins are able to raise their body temperatures to up to 20° C (68 °F).

Since solitary penguins are unable to benefit from other penguins’ body heat, they cannot survive in temperatures any lower than -10° C (14 °F)

Under Such Conditions, How Can Penguins Walk for Many Kilometers with Such Large Bodies and Short Legs?

In order to conserve energy when they walk, penguins waddle from side, to side, which tires their muscles less. In this way, at the end of every step, they store up enough momentum for the next. If they employed a normal gait, their short legs would force them to expend twice as much energy as any other animal their own size. However, penguins exert the most energy only when they start to walk and when they want to stop.

These features of penguins are some of the greatest proofs of Allah’s affection and compassion for living things. Walking in such a way as to conserve energy by using the conversion of kinetic and potential energy and back again is something no bird can learn on its own. No penguin can know about potential-kinetic energy conversion and develop such a gait as to take advantage of this, unless so inspired by Allah.

Allah’s sovereignty over living things is revealed as follows in one verse of the Qur’an:

    "I put my trust in Allah, My Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He hath grasp of its fore-lock. Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path.”  (Surah Hud, 56)

How Do Seals Locate Their Prey in the Dark?

A seal locates its prey without using its eyes by following traces that its quarry leaves behind it in the water. These traces, invisible to the naked eye, are hydrodynamic waves set up by the movement of the prey. Just by following these traces, a seal is able to catch its prey. Thanks to this ability, seals have no difficulty in hunting in the dark or in murky water.

Secret Whale Feeding Techniques

The cold waters of the North Pole are actually very rich in nutrients—for which reason, whales deliberately migrate to these from warmer waters. During their time near the Pole they consume small, shrimp-like fish known as krill, and store up nutrients in their blubber.

When a pod of whales locates a school of fish or krill, they act in unison. When the fish sense danger and start diving to the bottom, the whales dive down even deeper, en masse, and immediately begin exhaling air bubbles, which form a kind of stockade or barrier cage around the fish. These bubbles that spread around the fish and stop them getting away form a round wall.  Then all the whales need to do is to open their mouths as they begin returning to the surface through the middle of this ring. Thanks to this planning and joint action, they are easily able to engulf their prey.

For all this astonishing behavior, there is only one explanation: These birds and marine mammals behave in accordance with the inspiration of Allah, their Creator.