Life in the Desert
Extreme heat that reaches up to 50-60oC (122-140oF) in the daytime, freezing cold at night, drought that can last for weeks or even months, and very little food. You might think it impossible to live in such a place. These tough places are deserts and, contrary to what you might think, many creatures live in the desert. Below we mention some of these creatures.
One desert animal is the cream colored fox, which is the smallest of all fox species (on the next page). The ears of this fox species are bigger than those of others. These wide ears are very useful for the fox, which lives in the sandy deserts of Africa and Arabia. For example, the fox can easily determine its prey's location by means of its sensitive ears. Preventing excessive heating, these ears also help the animal remain cool.
Another creature that lives in the deserts is the shovel-snouted lizard (below). To cool its tail and feet, this creature moves on hot sands as if it were dancing. Supported by its tail, it raises one of its front and one of its back legs diagonally opposite. A few seconds later, it is the turn of the other two legs. With its peculiarly shaped nose and body, the lizard moves in the mounds of sand as if swimming. Its big feet enable it to run fast on the sand without being hurt by the heat.
The desert frogs that live in Australia are like water tanks. A desert frog fills the pouches in its body with water when it rains. Then it buries itself in the sand and begins to wait for the next rain. With the water they store in their pouches, desert frogs can survive in the desert.
Have you noticed the common characteristics of desert creatures, of which we have given a few examples here? Their body structures are remarkably ideal for living in the desert and they have characteristics quite distinct from other creatures. Also, these animals apparently know very well how they should act for protection from the desert heat and to cope with thirst. How could a frog or a lizard have such knowledge? How could they possess the exact body structure that they require?
Certainly animals could not know these things by themselves. They could neither create water tanks in their bodies nor generate big ears to protect themselves from the heat. In order to survive in the desert, these creatures must have had these characteristics since they came into being. Otherwise, they would soon become extinct from excessive heat, thirst or hunger. However, this does not happen. Moreover, all desert creatures on earth have the capacity to endure desert conditions. Each species has unique characteristics that enable it to survive in the desert.
All these lead us to one truth. The One Who created desert creatures together with the features they have today is Allah. Allah has power to do whatever He likes at any time He likes. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah informs us that everything is easy for Him:
The Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surat al-Baqara: 117)